Hair-looms: African Hair-story and Hair-itage.

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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.

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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.

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Robert Taylor – Girls

The space exhibited photographs by Photographer Robert Taylor, who also formed part of the panel.  

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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.

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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

Links & Resources:

https://twitter.com/ArtsIlluminated

https://www.facebook.com/heritageisthelockcultureisthekey