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Proceedings Paper

Black: meaning and connotation in Europe and Africa
Author(s): Leonhard Oberascher; Fatumata Oberascher
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Paper Abstract

The two fundamental questions of this study are: (1) Do the concept of black and the color black evoke the same association? (2) Do all cultures (and all social groups) in fact rate the color black mainly negatively? The first part of our investigation deals with the color associations of a particular professional group within the (endemic) society of Austria, the second part with people who, by reason of their skin color and origins, have a very personal association with black. So far, 51 architects, designers and students of design have been questioned about their associations with black and other colors/color combinations (presented as a concept and as a color sample). No significant differences were found (similarly for the other elementary colors W, Y, R, B, G). By contrast, clear differences from the connotations of black reported in European literature were demonstrated by 40 (dark-skinned) persons (37 from various parts of Africa, 2 Caribbean and 1 Colombian), questioned about their associations with black, the term(s) used for black, the significance and the use of black within their culture or tribe, and about the significance of their own skin color, both to them personally and to their own culture.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4421, 9th Congress of the International Colour Association, (6 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.464586
Show Author Affiliations
Leonhard Oberascher, Oko-Psy (Austria)
Fatumata Oberascher, Oko-Psy (Austria)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4421:
9th Congress of the International Colour Association

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