APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG
APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG

APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA 1948 RACIST but ARTISTIC HANDMADE CATALOG

Item #727

This 4-ring binder measures 10.25 x 12.25” has 45 double sided pages (90 pages) with all but five sides used, has a white cloth cover with various images and words on the cover, including “orange blossom,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “fighting cocks.” The album is the ambitious undertaking of G. Rydberg, who created a fake mail-order catalogue for the Swedish department store Åhlén and Holm (still operating today under the name Åhléns). Presented as a catalogue for “temp” stores in South Africa during the 1948 Christmas season, the album is completely filled with racist attitudes and stereotypes towards the indigenous South African population. The basic premise of the catalogue is to present an overview of Åhlén and Holm’s “temp” stores in the region, the “employees” working these stores, and the types of items that can supposedly be ordered from the catalogue. The information is presented in carefully hand-lettered fliers and item descriptions alongside collaged photos that seem to be taken from other resources about Africa. The images show the indigenous peoples of South Africa in traditional outfits, sometimes with drawn-on embellishments that suggest blood, and later images are clearly from advertisements featuring white models that have been hand-colored to appear black. Alongside nearly every image there are handwritten annotations which are clearly meant to be witty–such as labeling a photo of topless black women as “salesgirls” for one of the “temp” stores. Many of the annotations use what must be made up names, reference war and cannibalism, and frequently act as if all South African men have multiple wives. There is even a page later in the catalogue about a contest for “The Most Married Man in S. Africa.” These comments extend into descriptions for sales items, such as medical and dental equipment being advertised as good weapons for war. There are also advertisements for clothes, mouse traps, a “shell bank,” travel, kitchenware, jewelry, and masks. The finished catalogue is the result of much time and thought; the pages are laid out with interesting compositions and the collages and written annotations are creatively done. The album is a fascinating and often disturbing look into the attitudes towards the black population of South Africa in 1948, with a focus on their supposed violence and primitivism.

A section of the catalog reads:

"To my colored customers, Christians and Cannibals! Play,brother,play!Clean up your huts and jungles,because Ahlén and Holm are moving in. This is it ,gentlemen!We finally decided to let you have it. There are two ways of fixing yourself up:you can either send us your order by mail or come and select your merchandise at our retail “Temp” stores.Consequently you now can buy,whatever you want ,at the post office. Play post office!Your country is warm and one can say that the heat is always on in our “Temp”stores.You buy at music of negro songs to tom-tom beat.It is a hot place! The present conditions on the black market force us to curtail our stock, but you can still find many of those gay and gaudy things you like. Why not throw your old hippopotamus skirt or loin cloth away and select one of our sparkling garments?Do that and become the Dandy of the tribe!We got the real stuff!They will make a stiff jump or an ostrich kick his own brain out.Line up and get busy grunting at our counters! No bargaining!No,Sir! Your boss has fixed prices,I assure you,your purchase is a play.We are doing the playing and finally you will dance outside the store with your merchandise.Hula-hula,shake your things, and GOOD BY and GOOD BUYING! Yours humble, Gosta Ahlén.

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