Ng’endo Mukii says she grew up in Kenya with an “almost schizophrenic self-visualization.” In her award-winning film short, Yellow Fever, she focuses on how Eurocentric standards of beauty have distorted the self-image of African women and girls, causing some of them to bleach their skin and shun their natural hair. The film’s title refers to the yellowish tint left by skin-bleaching.
The award-winning animator, editor and director created Yellow Fever as her thesis project at the Royal College of Art in London. The powerful film incorporates hand drawn and computer-based animation, live action and spoken word.
“I am interested in the concept of skin and race, and what they imply,” Mukii says, “in the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time.” These concepts have not only persisted over time, but they also span the globe, destabilizing black pride in unlikely parts of the diaspora and compromising mental health.