Black Hair Salooni pop ups - celebrating the past and present of black hair


Images: Darlyne Komukama

Using the format of the salon as its starting point, the Salooni ­restages some of the iconic imagery from the beautiful barbershops and salons of Africa to create new imagery that both explores and celebrates the identity of the past and its influence on black woman of the 21st century.

The group asks: What practices of self-care and love have been replicated and shared by black girls and women in the styling and braiding of their hair? What collective and individual traumas have we endured and perpetuated as a result of rejection from Western hegemonic cultures and in our own attempts to conform and survive a world in which beauty standards are dictated by Caucasian culture?

Image: Kwesi Abbensetts

The members of the collective behind the project – ranging from fashion experts to curators, photographers and performers – each find their own ways to express their personal hair narratives.

Their fierce images, which echo the aesthetics of great African photographers such as Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta, have now been exhibited throughout Africa – most recently at the 2016 Chale Wote Festival in Accra, Ghana, and the La Ba Festival in Kampala and Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja (both in Uganda) – but with the support of their new funders, the project intends to go global, and we couldn’t be more excited to see their beautiful idea grow.

They have a gorgeous Tumblr page, full of juicy hair-related imagery, so make sure you check it out at

*Updated: Salooni is created by 4 Ugandan artists. Aida Mbowa (Theatre/Visual Artist), Gloria Wavamunno (Fashion/Visual Artist), Darlyne Komukama (Photographer/Visual Artist) and Kampire Bahana (Writer/DJ).

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