Sunday, December 4, 2011

POST: Nate Hill / Daily Mail (UK)

Nate Hill's performance art project The White Ambassador aims to promote racial tolerance. 
Photo by Tod Seelie via
African-American performance artist adopts whiteface to fight racism on the streets of Harlem
By DailyMail Reporter |
November 30, 2011

A street performer has painted his face white in an effort to tackle racist attitudes.

Nate Hill, who is African-American, has been walking around the streets of Harlem, New York in whiteface, wearing a suit and with a sign around his neck that reads: 'White People Do Not Smell Like Wet Dog'.

Mr Hill uses creative and often wacky ways of highlighting social prejudices and issues.   

He developed his latest project, entitled 'The White Ambassador' after starting a Twitter account in September, @WhiteSmellBot, where he retweets any racist comments he finds that refer to the smell of white people. 

Over the past three months, the account has compiled more than 7,000 tweets, most of which talk about white people smelling like a wet dog when it rains.

During his performance, which will take place three times a week until February 2012, Mr Hill also chants: 'We are white! We smell alright!'

On his website, Mr Hill said the point of his project was to show that black people can be racist too. 

He said: 'My mission is pretty clear - racial tolerance. The white stereotypes are often overlooked, and I wanted to examine that. There seems to be a double standard of how racist you're allowed to be depending on your race.'

His work was attracting plenty of attention. In the short film made of his demonstration, one passer-by can be heard telling the artist: 'You're on the wrong team man.' 

It was not the first time that the artist, originally from Sarasota, Florida but living in New York, has indulged in surreal street performance. 

He previously dressed up in a panda costume and charged people one cent to punch him and has created a character called Death Bear who takes away belongings which trigger painful memories. 

No comments:

Post a Comment