Hair-looms: African Hair-story and Hair-itage was an empowering exhibition, involving local community members from around Peckham and surrounding areas, hair salon owners, researchers, mothers, sisters, daughters, fathers the list goes on.
Occupying a space like Blenheim Grove, Peckham, in the heart of the black and predominantly African hairdressers was a pivotal moment. The exhibition and panel discussion were all held within an active hair salon ‘Me-lange Hair Salon’ with the nail section where women were getting their nails done and customers who had booked appointments were also getting their hair braided or eyebrows tweezed; this was all happening at the same time, it felt natural and it felt like the perfect environment to have this discussion, it was intimate, personal yet communal.
Robert Taylor – Girls
The space exhibited photographs by Photographer Robert Taylor, who also formed part of the panel.
White parents of mixed race children were present in the audience too, many there to listen and learn of the importance of black hair and it’s heritage; I had never found myself surrounded by such a diverse crowd in a black hairshop before. This conversation was needed, and it has been a long time coming. This panel discussion was Chaired by BCC appearance: Rachel Sealy, blogger and UKnaturals youtuber.
In a time where the beastly wave of Gentrification is sweeping away each hair shop at a time and in the space of weeks are found to be replaced by over-priced bars and cafes, they aren’t just replacing a hair salon, they are erasing an entire demographic of that community and a family that once formed part of Peckham.
Peckham is changing – and at an alarming rate. It too will soon reach the levels of its neighboring district such as Brixton of Gentrification; where the lower-class are continuously being pushed out of the area due to ridiculously overpriced rent of shops and homes.
Gentrification = Social Cleansing?
This event was organized by: Illuminated Arts Peckham
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