Hairytage from alixbizet on Vimeo.
Photo credits: Alix Bizet Studio
Project in collaboration with Harris Girls Academy East Dulwich,Centre for Creative Explorations,Ben Nogent and Mercedes Quezada
©Alix Bizet 2020
Hair is a material that I work with and which allows me tackle some serious and difficult social-political issues, it also offers me the possibility to tackle the problem of how to design for and within the idea of diversity?
Question that I developed while working with communities through hand on workshops. With Hairytage I wanted to explore the material in the context of Peckham, and Rye Lane in particular.
Peckham hair salons are entangled in this topic of gentrification as they are in the heart of the identity of Peckham and often the face of the local and historic residents.
The salons are a place to meet, to share, where people shape their identity, where people feel a sense of belonging and where multicultural heritage is celebrated.
When I working with Harris Girls Academy East Dulwich students, I realised that their concerns in terms of their future match those of the hairdressers and their clients.
As the high is rapidly changing and sometimes those changes are overwhelming and difficult to keep track with. These concerns are often not covered by mainstream media and stay local, often unheard.Changes can bring new opportunities, but they can also conversely leave individuals feeling powerless, left behind or just unwanted.
Many of afro hairdressers are currently losing their leases, being displaced to the Peckham Palms, pushed away from the high street and simply becoming less visible.
Hairytage is a project that aims to support the diversity of the high street and rethink standardization as a message of progress. This project was and still is focussed on how we can create visibility for all, celebrate the rich heritage of afro hair and multiculturalism in Peckham by supporting the voices of the hairdressers, Peckham Community and talk about its future for all. How we can bring people together to debate and reflect on the changes and to share their concerns, hope and regrets.
The project was presented at the Peckham Festival, Peckham Levels and South London Gallery.