Post-Apocalyptic Shine in the Afro-Future

by Brandi Thompson Summers


In the September 2016 issue of W magazine, singer, songwriter, and actress Rihanna is the cover model and subject of the “Baddest Bitch of the Post-Apocalypse” editorial spread. Styled by Edward Enninful and shot by Steven Klein, the photo-story is described as: “Tomorrow, the last woman on earth and the ruling warrior queen in a dark, dystopian future.” The post-apocalyptic imagery and fashion foreshadow our presumed societal move toward the extinction of human laborers and the rise of robots over manufacturing and other industries. But Rihanna plays a glimmering, mechanical humanoid and challenges our perception of the future as she embodies luminous surfeit in contrast to geographical scarcity.

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