Skin Colour….Why It Should Matter!

November 19, 2016 @ 1:30 pm
St Jax Montréal
1439 Rue Sainte-Catherine
Montréal, QC H3G 1S6
Free for members of the SJLS, $12 for non-members
Sam Browman

Have you ever wondered if there were certain skin tone biases embedded in colour film? Do you believe that visual technologies such as still photography, film and television realistically render human skin colour in an exact manner?

This illustrated talk on the little-known story about race relations, demonstrates how light skin, which had quickly become the norm for the rendition of skin tones within the early industries of visual representation, very slowly transformed over time to become more inclusive of a wider range of skin colours.

The sample images are emblematic of the state of race relations and aesthetics in visual media around the world. Her “behind the lab doors” / backstage history illustrates how our notions of beauty have been almost unconsciously influenced, negotiated, constructed and consistently reinforced across a wide range of popular media.

Dr. Lorna Roth Lorna Roth2is Professor and former Chairperson of the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. She is the author of one text book on her favourite subject and is currently working on a second one. She has a long-standing interest in minorities in different media sectors and has written extensively about the (de)construction of cultural and racial diversity in the media and the ways in which skin colour and culturally-inflected design decisions are linked together in technologies and products that have a sense of flesh as central to their representation.