This Brazilian photographer, Angélica Dass with her latest project Humanae is seeking to break down the barriers of race, ethnicity, and skin color that have been dividing factors among humankind for centuries. She captured examples of every skin color in the world, to prove that diversity goes beyond the standard confines of white, black, red, and yellow.
Humanae quickly gained momentum shortly after its inception in early 2016, and thanks to an extensive social media campaign, she was able to capture over 200 portraits while traveling through 19 different international cities. Angélica followed a ritual of first photographing the subjects against a white background, then selecting an 11-pixel square from each of their noses and matching the color to its corresponding Pantone industrial palette shade which becomes each photo’s backdrop. Rather than arranging them in a spectrum-like gradient order, she shuffles the photos and presents them as a ‘mosaic,’ showing the contrasts and similarities between each varied tone.
Angélica Dass holds the project close to her heart, as she herself grew up in a mixed-race family in Rio de Janeiro, and has faced countless discrimination based on her skin color. “Every time I take a picture, I feel that I am sitting in front of a therapist,” she said in a 2016 TED Talk. “All the frustration, fear, and loneliness that I once felt… Becomes love.” Just like the constant evolution of human appearances and identities, Humanae is ongoing and will serve its purpose until the walls that separate us are brought down.