We do Black hair with Alice Marcelino
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.
Christine Eyene is an art historian, curator, and Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. She has organised numerous international exhibitions focusing on the body and gender in the work of African and Diaspora women artists. Her projects also encompass visual arts, photography, design and sound art. Christine is also editor of eye.on.art.
Her latest projects include Murder Machine, as part of EVA International 2016 Federation Ormston House, Limerick, Ireland (until 17 July); Curators Series #8: All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2015), Residual: Traces of the Black Body, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2015); WHERE WE’RE AT! Other voices on gender, Bozar, Brussels (2014).