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Untangling the Politics of Black Hair

1 Jan, 1970 at 12:00 am - 22 Nov, 2014 at 12:00 am

How do you wear your hair? Why?

Does popular culture propagate an unrealistic, Eurocentric ideal of beauty?

What impact is this having on young people today?

NAE hosts a panel discussion chaired by Hannah Pool, Chair of UKFeminista, published author and journalist (The Guardian, The Times, Grazia.) Taking the political and cultural significance of black hair as our starting point, the panel – artists, cultural commentators, academics and activists – will discuss the relationship between hair and post-colonialist beauty ideals, and the impact this has had on perceptions of identity. Local young people will lead a discussion around how popular culture is influencing the next generation’s sense of self-worth. The event will also explore how we can begin to eradicate negative reinforcement and promote positive experiences. Join us to share your views and play a key part in moving the debate forward. Further panel members will be announced soon.


Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri is a writer and activist. She is a PhD researcher in the Goldsmiths Sociology Department and a teaching fellow in the Africa Department at SOAS. She is regularly invited to contribute to discussions on issues relating to Africa and the Diaspora.

Lorna Holder

Lorna has over 30 years experience at Executive level in the retail hairdressing, beauty & fashion industries, as well as in print journalism, producing cultural events and the visual and performing arts. Lorna’s career into retail hairdressing and beauty developed between 1985-1990 when she opened her own Retail Hairdressing and Beauty Salons, Lapaz in Camden, and Notting Hill, London. Lapaz was one of the first multicultural One Stop hair, beauty and retail businesses in the UK. The chain was unique in that they pioneered natural looking hair extensions for all communities, refining the “weave on” prevalent amongst the Caribbean ladies at that time, specialising in Mono Fibre hair extensions. Records of Lapaz, retail hairdressing and beauty salon (1985-1990) form part of Lorna’s business archive collection deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives.

Honey Williams

Honey is a Singer Songwriter, Artist, Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Poet. Director of The G.O.A. Choir and Creator
of the Pickyheads Movement, which highlights the beauty and misconceptions around hair of African descent via multi-sensory events which encompass artistic expression. Honey is an Image Activist and creator of successful natural hair
blog ‘Contemporary Natural Hair’.

Rachael Young

Rachael is a writer, performer and Co- Artistic Director of First Floor Theatre. Her work focuses on autobiographical explorations, collaborative theatre making and the creation of immersive, interactive performance. In the past she has worked with companies such as, Nottingham Playhouse, Tara Arts, Lincoln Drill Hall, and Hatch. New Art Exchange has commissioned Rachael to undertake a creative journey around the cultural significance of hair.
Working with artist and hair dresser Richard Houguez, their project Crowns of Confidence is a participatory piece
that will use hairstyling to explore cultural identity.

Shane Solanki
Shane is an artist, performer, author and recording artist, creating music under the alias Last Mango in Paris. This year he has developed ‘Superheroines I Have Known and Loved: A Hairy Tale’, a performance and graphic novel exploring the issues facing a man as he attempts to write a children’s book about gender equality.


To book a place please call 0115 924 8630.

Admission: FREE
Age range: All are welcome