Black Hair Politics

I have almost never met a Black woman who hasn’t had an insane number of thoughts about her hair.

BLACK HAIR POLITICS is an installation that was created in May of 2014 within the scope of Matthias Lilienthal’s format xfirmen at Theater der Welt in Mannheim.

For the xfirmen tour through downtown Mannheim, Simone Dede Ayivi produced Nishas Beauty Salon – an African hairdressing salon for men and women.

After a research period of one week, a film was made in which the performer herself undergoes a transformation. Recordings of documentary material on the history of Black hair culture provide insight into the current discussion surrounding Afro hair and place the events within the salon into the global context.

Photo: Simone Dede Ayivi

Photos: Simone Dede Ayivi

The audience members watched the film while the hair salon operated normally.

They sat in styling chairs in front of mirrors through which they could observe what was happening behind them in the space. The television on which the video was played could also be seen in the mirror.

An installation by Simone Dede Ayivi as part of X-Firmen, Theater der Welt Mannheim, 2014.

VIDEO Juliane Kremberg