Exhibition: Scalped – exploring the objectification of black women’s hair

An outdoor dance theatre exhibition piece which explores the objectification of black women’s hair through the eyes of western society will take place at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival on Friday, June 21.

The free exhibition titled Scalped comes from artistic duo Wofai and Damilola ‘DK’ Fashola, who formed art group Initiative.dkf.

They said “whether permed, braided or in locs, black hair is political” and the Scalped dance theatre piece has stemmed from the passive but ever present scrutiny, which black women face every day; from the way they walk, to the way they talk, to the way they do their hair.


Wofai said: “Scalped is all about exploring attitudes towards black women, their hair and how they are objectified in Western spaces, playing with the idea of being a spectacle and life as a fashion show due to the ever present scrutiny that they/we face.

“With our native city being the cosmopolitan metropolis that is London, what came to mind almost immediately was the shared experience of black women – and men – of being looked at, poked and prodded, and how much our hair becomes the focal point of this in day-to-day life.

“As DK came up with the narrative of the piece we were mixing and playing with ideas of what outdoor theatre should be, and how much that suits a piece exploring these themes – it (the piece) is, our hair is and we are bold, fierce, misunderstood, culture, fashion and everything in between.

“The piece is a dance theatre exhibition where self-acceptance triumphs through rhythm and movement in a world where the corporate playground meets the fantastic.

Including original poetry from Fashola, it mirrors the multi-dimensional black woman, in spirit, style, tone and existence.”

DK Fashola said: “Scalped is an idea that women can connect with. The feeling that you have to attach something for beauty; natural is not enough.

For us its goes beyond this. Attach whatever you want to your hair, or rock it natural. Love yourself – don’t be afraid to explore with attachments, but don’t get lost in it either. You are not the attachment”.

More information about Scalped can be found at https://www. initiativedkf.com/scalped

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