We do Black hair
We do Black hair proposes to bring together the local African and Diaspora communities in and around Gillett Square, as part of Open Source Festival through an afro hair event addressing ongoing questions of aesthetic canons, identity politics, and visual representations in the media.
This project is informed by the all-too-common experience of the random “Can I touch your hair?” and responds to the racialization of spaces where, if stepping into the wrong hair salon, afro hair – once a “curiosity” attracting unsolicited hands – becomes unwanted, unmanageable, if not untouchable.
We do Black hair will bring out the positive aspects of hairdressing as a social and community practice, hairstyling as an evolving cultural tradition, while highlighting the notion of self-care.
Members of the public will be invited to have their afro hairstyles photographed by Alice Marcelino as part of her project Kindumba (My Hair in Kimbumdo, one of the two Bantu languages from North Angola) to celebrate black hair and its diversity by challenging conventional views of standard beauty and the concept of blackness.
Both performance and photography sessions will take place on Saturday 28 May between 1pm and 4pm. The performance residue and photo studio restitution will be exhibited in situ and with a slideshow throughout Sunday 29 May.
This element of Open Source Festival will contribute to bridge the gap between community practices and contemporary art, reaching out to a diversity of public through art forms reflecting the makeup of today’s society.
Born in 1980 in Luanda, Angola, Alice Marcelino grew up in Portugal and has lived in London since 2011. She experienced and explored various art forms, from dance to theatre, until discovering and adopting photography as her main form of expression. Her images reflect her interest in individual stories, exploring concepts of identity and sub-cultures, and their meaning in our globalised world. She is currently completing her BA in Photography at University East London (UEL).
Alice Marcelino was featured in underEXPOSED, a virtual hub founded by British photographer Eileen Perrier to give exposure to a younger generation of photographers from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Project curated by Christine Eyene