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By Sandrine Micossé-Aikins and Beatrace Angut Oola

One’s appearance is political. Hair is political. Not only in terms of attribution but also through styling. Fashion is a code; its purpose is stylization, differentiation, marking aesthetic awareness, and communal belonging. Through it, notions of "beauty", body norms, social class, gender, and identity are reflected. Establishing "standards" here is colonial control; discovering self-expression autonomously is a sense of freedom.

Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, art scholar and head of the Berlin Conception and Consulting Center for Diversity Arts Culture, has presented a book titled "People of the Comb: Contemporary Hair Politics in Ghana." This book untangles the interweaving of beauty standards, social control, economic motivations, sexuality, and desire in Ghana. She shows how lived aesthetic practices could serve as resistance and self-design outside the sphere of white dominance. During this evening, Sandrine Micossé-Aikins will present her book, offering essential insights into Black Hair Politics, in conversation with Beatrace Angut Oola.

Beatrace Angut Oola, idea generator and co-curator of the exhibition "Connecting Afro-Futures: Fashion x Hair x Design" and founder of the design platform "Fashion Africa Now," showcases selected works by East and West African designers. These designers are all united by the aspiration to overcome (neo-)colonially influenced thought patterns and beauty norms in design, highlighting decolonial perspectives in dealing with Afro hair.
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