The African experience has a story that speaks for itself with their colourful pallet of rich vibrant cultures, yet it is a story that remains incompletely told. Institutions have offered a single lens to a continent of multiple layers- So many layers that it would make one wonder how one lens could possibly divulge the story of 54 countries and 1,500 languages all in one breath?

At BATIK BOUTIK we know the danger of a single story and aim to dismantle western constructs that perpetuate a negative portrayal of Africa and it’s people, often limiting their story to one of that you only see in the news-worthy media with overwhelming  coverage of tragedy, doom and gloom.

This often is a result of “hit and run” journalism where tragedy and disaster that takes place will be well-documented, but journalists will not stay long enough to cover success stories of innovation and development. 

This sensationalist trope of victomhood mirrors eurocentricity, as “bad news sells well” but can (often unintentionally) perpetuate stigma when there is disproportionate emphasis on famine and lack of modern development in Africa.

Whereas, there is development. Lots of it. From Accra to Abidjan, cities are brimming with beautiful beaches and hotels and tourist sightseeing that would satiate any traveller upon arrival. The food, the music, the artistic communities have significantly grown in recent years paint a picture that counters afro-pessimism with afro-optimism. Despite present issues that countries in Africa have to face, there is a cultural renaissance that is occurring in Africa, as culture is a critical motor of sustainable development for the continent.

We want to challenge these tiring stereotypes and feel that these exoticized narratives established during the era of colonialism are long overdue for an update. BATIK BOUTIK aims to articulate an alternative vision of Africa by celebrating the continent through art and fashion as a political practice.