The subject? Our island home, Bermuda.
So what’s this drama about, you ask?
The famed photographer presented his images (that are now on sale), on his platforms with the caption “see how I captured timeless moments and the unique traditions of this small slice of paradise”.
There are two phrases to make note of here: “timeless moments” and “unique traditions”. However, what’s been captured through Mr Malin’s lens are images that represent a time in Bermudian history that many wish to forget and unfortunately does not highlight our traditions.
“While I was in college, I visited a friend who grew up in Bermuda. Ever since, I have aspired to create a photography series with the island as my muse,” he said in an interview with Domino Magazine.
“There is something unique about Bermuda, as its rich history draws influence from British, American, and African cultures. I wanted to create something that celebrates it as well as captures it in a timeless fashion.”
Although the photos capture an essence of the island’s beauty while being shot at locations such as Tucker’s Town, Horseshoe Bay and Coral Beach, there still seems to be one thing missing — diversity.
The series takes a 1950’s style angle with a retro aesthetic which is nothing new for the photographer, but this time locals from his subject country of choice are calling his work “white washed” and a “fantasy of segregation” stating that his work is not a reflection of the Bermuda we know and love. He also described it to The Royal Gazette as showcasing “the lux, yet laid-back atmosphere”.
The folks on #BermudaTwitter are not buying it:
So @GrayMalin is getting the Jillionaire treatment for his segregationist fantasy of Bermuda, right?
— Carly (@stfucarly) January 31, 2019
Yah, @GrayMalin just blocked me on IG and erased this comment re: his Bermuda series being the visual embodiment of that meme “Why do so many people romanticize the 1950’s; Calm down we still have milkshakes and racism”: pic.twitter.com/8WioSzCgmN
— A D A H L I A • C O L E (@MissAdahlia) January 30, 2019
…and other local influencers such as stylist Shiona Turini have been expressing disdain on Instagram.
Does the lack of melanin depicted in this 2019 series show us what the reality was back in those trying times or is it simply Gray Malin’s reality?