Monday, July 6, 2009

Patrice Lumumba and Dr. Martin L. King "Cost of freedom" Adidas Stan Smith custom sneaker

Hello world!
I must say I am excited to release these! This was a project that I thought of earlier this year, prior to Black History Month, but due to lack of time I could not get it done for myself, so I took note of the concept. Then a very special client came along, and the request was along the lines of my concept, so I presented it, she loved it, and she allowed me to follow through with it.
Some of you might know a bit of my background, but for those who do not, I was the first seed of a mixed couple, a strong and very smart Belgian man and strong and very beautiful Congolese woman. Born in 1982 in Kinshasa, Zaire (current Democratic Republic of Congo), moved to Spain at the age of 6 to escape the civil war, then to Belgium at age 15, the state of Connecticut in 2002, the northern part of Iowa in 2003, southern part of Nebraska in 2006, to Cincinnati in the summer of 2008, and now I reside in the Philadelphia area.
To me the election of president Obama was great in so many ways, one of them being that we have similar cultural backgrounds. I wanted to pay tribute not only to him, but also and mainly to those who made it possible for him to achieve his accomplishment, and for me to be able to have an education, the opportunity to play sports, get a job, and more.

My initial concept was to have Dr. MLK president Obama, as having past and future stepping together. Then I felt that my focus needed to be more on the past, and thought of using Dr. MLK and Malcolm X, and focus on the two different approaches with one common goal. All of this was great, but on one hand I felt it was cliché, it has been done plenty of times in so many different ways, and on the other hand, during black history month in the 6 years I spent in the great US of A, the focus has been almost, if not exclusively on African American history, while slavery and other forms injustice were conducted by white men in the US, this was a foreign land for African slaves. I felt the need to expose the fact that these same atrocities were conducted on the African man in its own land, and some African men stood up to and fought hoping for freedom and independence. This is the reason why I chose to feature the late Patrice Lumumba.
These two men conducted a similar fight; they were both passionate in the fight for freedom of the black man. They both found their days shorten for this reason, high price to pay for us to have the luxury of freedom and independence. Their fight was conducted in a similar time period, they were both strong but non violent, and many think their lives were taken by the same people. And as it is clearly expressed on the shoes, they fought the same fight in different lands.

The shoes feature a portrait of each man, the placement of the portraits was elected for one simple reason, I wanted both men to look forward, since their fight was for a better future for people of color. The color theme elected were green, which symbolizes balance, harmony, growth, harmony, self-respect and well-being. Green also is a complementary color to red, which leads me to our next color, which symbolizes blood, power, anger, but is a conflict of emotions such as passion, love and power. The combination the 2 was use to express not only what they individually symbolize, but also the conflict in the combination, when combined they appear to be brighter and stronger; hence if we could combine our differences we would all be brighter and stronger? haha that is a different topic, I will have something coming on that. Finally, black and white, my favorite combination of all, the mix in my blood, the strongest possible contrast, and the races involved in the topic of this pair of custom sneakers. The portrait were done in black and white to replicate the photography of the time (funny how I always find and reason to use black and white), they are surrounded by black to symbolize the people they were fighting for. The tongue and toe of the shoe was left white, to symbolize the hand of white man. You will notice paint drops in certain areas of the shoe,, red ones, black ones and white ones, they symbolize blood. The black and red ones on the white area represent the colored man’s blood shed by the white man’s hand, the red and white ones on the black areas of the shoe, represent the blood of white man that were killed by black men, but also that were killed for colored people in the mother land and the land of freedom.

This pair, along with both the Obama "Hope for Change" custom Nike AF1 and the Fidel and El Che´s "La revolucion Cubana" custom Nike AF1, are shoes that mean a lot to me due to the heavy cultural message in them, but what they have in common are two things that I want to emphasize: fight and stand for what you believe in, and do not forget your past, your knowledge determines your character, and your character determines your value as a human being, at least for those who look past your appearance.
Being that I am from here and there, and all over else, I wanted to enlighten you, or remind you that the struggle was and still is global, that colored peoples human rights were violated in places other than the US, and not only colored but also people of many other ethnicities and nations.
Finally, as always, I want to remind you that anything is possible, bring in your concepts, your ideas, and your topics, I might have something that is ready waiting to be done, and you might just be the one that will allow me the get this weight out of my chest!
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read. See you soon!!

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XCLSV X P. Lumumba and Dr. M.L King "Cost of freedom" Adidas Stan Smith custom sneakers

This will give you a little background on the fight of each of these great men...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks man, they are very nice!!!
    Congrats for the portraits! They are indeed two great men in our history!!
    I'm already thinking about sneakers with Nelson Mandela!
    I'm lucky to have my girlfriend ;-)!!!
    Keep doing what chu doing and I wish you a lot of success!!!

    Ps : pictures are coming soon