Opinion July 28, 2020 | 11:02 am

Open letter to British Vogue about recent Dominican Republic cover

Dear @BritishVogue and @edward_enninful:

Vogue’s #ResetChallenge inspired readers to submit images of captivating landscapes that carry deep meaning to them for the magazine’s August cover. Nine of the top 10 winning images portrayed the traditional, splashy beauty of travel destinations from Japan, Iceland to Mozambique.

One of these photos stood out from all the rest—an image juxtaposing the beauty of the Dominican Republic’s natural landscape with that of plastic waste. A Dominican artist and environmental activist, Carmen Danae, submitted this photo as a call-to-action to aid the fragile ecosystem.

Unsurprisingly, this image has sparked criticism as a non-traditional representation of the Caribbean country from the white-sand beaches and clear, blue waters people are accustomed to seeing in one of the world’s leading luxury publications.

While Vogue’s editors took a bold decision in selecting this photo among its top ten, I can’t help but wonder if its impact is fully understood. Tourism remains a critical sector of the Dominican Republic’s economy while navigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the calls of environmentalists, Dominicans and tourists alike are being heard and answered. The country’s new government led by President-elect Luis Abinader has presented detailed plans on environmental sustainability and climate change, including gradually eliminating plastic consumption, which should give us hope that a healthy ecosystem in the country will prevail.

Vogue’s regional publications have recently showcased Dominican supermodels such as Arlenis Sosa visiting their home countries. I urge the magazine to return soon to Dominican Republic firsthand to witness the intersection of natural beauty, vibrant culture and fashion on display at every turn.


Geovanny Vicente Romero

The author is an attorney and political pundit

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