Photography Philip-Daniel Ducasse.

Baba wears all clothing and shoes Alexander McQueen.

Baba Diop: "We’ve heard ‘unity’ our whole lives. I think it’s time that we actually unite"

The model and writer ponders what a utopia would look like.

by Baba Diop
|
21 September 2020, 1:43pm

Photography Philip-Daniel Ducasse.

Baba wears all clothing and shoes Alexander McQueen.

This story originally appeared in up + rising, a celebration of extraordinary Black voices, and is the first chapter of i-D's 40th anniversary issue (1980-2020).

i-D chronicled over 100 activists and artists, musicians and writers, photographers and creatives, in Atlanta, Baltimore, Minneapolis, LA, London, New York, Paris and Toronto.

“I’ve never been one to think I was naive to believe the world could be such a simple and happy place. I’ve always believed in a place where we could all experience love through shared experiences. Shared success. Understanding everyone can and will have their moments to shine.

The times we are in are confusing and scary. Natural and manmade disasters are a regularity. Everyone is angry. We can’t breathe because of Covid-19 and because of murderers in police uniforms. We can no longer interact with other human beings without covering our faces. These are unexpected and confusing times but the one thing that can always save us is love and gratitude for one another and what we have. I don’t mean that in a cliché way.

We ought to be grateful for everything we have and not be envious of what we don’t have. We should love to see others happy. We should hate to see others sad. Love is a powerful concept and if we could all join and share it, I’m not guaranteeing a utopia but so many of our problems would disappear.

I think if we understand that we don’t have to be greedy to be successful and that we can all have the glory that humankind tends to kill for then we would all be in better shape. That’s what we need. It’s simple, it’s effective, but it requires a total group effort. We’ve heard ‘unity’ our whole lives. I think it’s time that we actually unite because it’s truly such a simple and ever so effective principle.”

i-D BLM PDD x RG_006.jpg
Baba wears all clothing and shoes Alexander McQueen.

Credits


Photography Philip-Daniel Ducasse
Styling Raymond Gee

Hair Latisha Chong using Bumble and bumble.
Make-up Jamal Scott for Kevyn Aucoin Beauty using Barbara Sturm Cosmetics. 
Nail Technician Leanne Woodley at She Likes Cutie. 
Set design Marcs Goldberg.
Photography assistance Setor Tsikudo and Solomon.
Styling assistance Jennifer De La Cruz, Cari Pacheco, Amanata Adams, Samantha Scott, Amontae Arnold and Cailtin McKenzie. 
Tailor Thao Hyunh.
Hair assistance Safiya Wiltshire.
Make-up assistance Deneka Maile.
Nail assistance Aja Walton.
Production Lolly Would.
Casting director Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Alexandra Antonova.

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