Anne Ackermann

documentary photographer & photojournalist
White Blacks
Location: Speyer
Nationality: Germany
Biography: Anne Ackermann is a documentary photographer based in Germany working worldwide. Her work often focuses on women’s and contemporary issues, touching themes ranging from migration and aftermath to skin bleaching and plastic surgery, from... MORE
Private Story
White Blacks
Copyright Anne Ackermann 2022
Updated Apr 2021
Location Kampala
Topics Aging, Beauty, Business, Capitalism, Dreams, Editorial, Emotion, Feminism, Globalization, Health, Photography, Photojournalism, Portraiture, Skin bleaching, Women's Rights, Youth

This project is about the harmful practice of skin lightening in black African women. Skin lightening has gained terrifying popularity in some African countries. Mainly women are chasing beauty standards based on a European model spending huge amounts of money to achieve fairer skin.

I photographed in a beauty salon in downtown Kampala, where Maama Lususu ( “mother of beautiful skin”) resides to treat women’s skins. Mercury, Cortisol and Hydrochinon, all of them chemical brightening agents, might result in a fairer skin- but it’s a damaged, unhealthy one.

Maama Lususu helps to brighten bodies and faces, but she is also a rescuer of skins that have been damaged by home use of chemicals, which sometimes could even be stain removers. In Uganda, the ideal colour seems to be Caramel. 

“Brown women”, a client says, “shine brighter in the dark night”.

Commissioned by and published in Focus Magazine in February 2015. 
Featured on CNN Health as a result of the Visura's CNN Pitch & Look Open Call in January 2016.
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