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Ayesha's Blog

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Afro Archives Episode One

01 February

Twelve Episodes of Actors Chatting Hair – different topics, ideas & views. 

Episode One: True or False? Your Hair Represents Who You Are

Afro Archives A Performer's World

“My hair doesn’t represent me.”

Our hair. We are born with it, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to change our natural hair texture.

In an article dated 24th January 2014 The Changing Business of Black Hair” by Antonia Opiah, the Huffington Post reported that the black haircare industry is estimated to be worth half a trillion dollars, as in $500 billion, approximately £350 billion.  We’re talking weaves, extensions, wigs, relaxers, styling tools – that’s a lot of money manipulating hair to achieve our desired look. A reflection of mood, attitude, as well as practicalities of a style or just to make ourselves feel good. Changing ourselves on the outside, to reflect how we feel on the inside. Moving away from our natural self, from what we were born with.

Afro Archives A Performer’s World

“Afro Archives, A Performer’s World”  – is my series of discussions on hair exploring the views of actresses and actors from different cultural backgrounds, ages and genders – to compare and contrast what they think about hair and how they deal with their own. There are definitely differences, but also interesting common experiences. Over the Afro Archives episodes, I want to look at what those common experiences are, what binds us together through relationships with our hair, and then what separates and defines us culturally. As a woman with afro-textured hair I am interested in sharing my own hair experiences. But essentially, it’s a place where we are chatting inclusively about hair and who we are.

Episode One of the Afro Archives series asks actors to question how they think they are seen and how they want to be seen – does their hair represent who they are?  The actors in this episode talk about emotional relationships to hair, comfort zones and ideals of beauty.

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

“My hair does represent me as a person, massively.”

Cultural Roots

Our hair is connected to our culture and heritage. With all the different ways of manipulating and hiding our hair, to re-design our appearance, does it mean we are hiding not only our roots…but also our heritage?

Centre Stage

Ideas and expectations imposed by society by others by the industries we work in, can push us towards trying to fit in. Instead of standing out. It’s not a new debate but the pace is picking up.

Right now Afro Hair is centre stage like never before. Hair takes us to the wider world of perceptions and the stories we tell. On a work industry level, it goes deep raising questions on diversity and representation. 

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

Amma Asante: Why The Industry Needs To Change.”

Press play to check out Afro Archives’s FIRST episode and to keep following or even better, get involved and share your own comments and hair experiences, subscribe to the Afro Archives YouTube Channel.

Hair Talks!

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

“For a long time black women have felt really embarrassed about their hair. We’ve conformed to a European standard of beauty.”

 

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

“When it comes to hair, whatever you do you cannot avoid people making an assessment of you.”

 

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

“If You Study Things on TV you start to notice that you rarely have an office worker with afro hair.”


My lovely friends and Afro Archives Voices Featuring on this episode:

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

Alexandra Conlon

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

Tania Rodrigues

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

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