Know Your Roots
KNOW YOUR ROOTS is a new project, generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, that will use mixed media technology to develop art work that celebrates the beauty of black hair.
Participants will embark on a super, kinky, curly exploration of the connections between heritage and hair. They will be given the opportunity to sharpen their creative skills and produce a vibrant online exhibition that celebrates the beauty of afro hair. They will also record their personal hair journeys for the London Metropolitan Archives and thereby, become part of London’s living history!
Programme of work
PYL ran focus groups and the project leader led research where young people told us that they wanted to develop more understanding about the nature of afro hair and how to maintain it. Some young women explained that they appreciated their hair in its natural state but felt that it was not always appreciated by others and that there were some settings they presumed would not allow them to wear their hair naturally, such as their place of employment.
Engaging in the project will enable participants working on the project and the wider audience to understand that the presentation and texture of afro hair is determined by a natural structure of curl pattern not a fundamental flaw requiring correction.
Young people from diverse ethnic groups have expressed an interest in learning more about the geography of hair and how the texture evolved as a protective factor against harsh UV rays. Young, white British women talked about wanting to be able to understand more about the hair of family members who have African ancestry. By definition members of a Diaspora are unrooted; this project will provide an opportunity for young people to feel more grounded in themselves by developing a greater level of knowledge about their heritage and ancestry.