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14 Jan 2022

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Mexico: National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) condemns misuse and exploitation of indigenous people by French brand Sézane


"French brand Sézane apologizes after controversial photo shoot in Mexico", 14 January 2021

...The video of a photo shoot with an old lady from an indigenous community caused a scandal in Mexico. The Parisian company has been accused of “manipulating, using and exhibiting elderly people from native peoples in the context of its advertising”

The French fashion company Sézane has apologized after a photo and video shoot with an elderly lady from an indigenous community that caused a scandal in Mexico where the current authorities say they are particularly sensitive to respect for indigenous peoples...

This video shows an elderly indigenous woman, seated and wearing a green vest, photographed by several young people who speak in French, some of whom are laughing or not wearing a mask. The lady is then invited by a member of the team to sketch a few dance steps on Mary Hopkin’s hit “Those were the days”. The video was shot on an undetermined date in the state of Oaxaca (southwest) and the lady belongs to the Zapotec community, according to sources in Mexico.

The Parisian company was accused of “manipulating, using and exhibiting elderly people from native peoples as part of its advertising”, in an official press release on the letterhead of the Ministry of Culture and the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination ( Conapred).

The National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) also condemned “the exploitation of the image of indigenous people by the Sézane brand” and launched “an appeal to brands and private companies to stop exploit indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples and communities as cultural capital”.

In its press release, the official body announces an “investigation to act in accordance with the law”...