1:54, the international art fair dedicated to contemporary African art has returned to London in celebration to its fifth edition between 5-8 October 2017 at Sommerset House.With 42 leading galleries from 17 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America, the fair has presented diverse work from over 130 emerging and established artists. Here are some highlights of the art fair:
Recently, the article on Boxers Braids in French Magazine, “Paulette” , had made react some readers, outraged that we can say that cornrows were created by boxers, simply hiding their African history. And what a surprise to see that among the photographs chosen to illustrate the subject, the edition only chose white models. As if cornrows were only acceptable on Caucasians … That was not the purpose of Paulette, one suspects, but some have read it as a contempt for cornrows worn by black women. Seeing cornrows in all the fashion magazines , usually worn most often by western models, means that this hairstyle has aesthetic value only on white women.
However, braiding hair is an integral part of African culture. An art handed down from generation to generation and is a mode of transmission.
In brief, a history is necessary to demonstrate the ancestral character of cornrows in African culture.
On the opposite to some african hairdressers working mechanically, Nadeen Mateky is one of those rare hair designers who managed to elevate african hairstyling to art.
Hair threading consists of wrapping sectioned hair in black thread. It is highly developed in South Nigeria.
Ojheikhere is regarded as one of the greatest 20th century African photographers, he earned international acclaim through his Hairstyle series; a personal project that he did for over 40 years showing Nigerian traditional hairstyles.
The Oscars ceremony will be held on February 28 in the US. This ceremony aims to reward “excellence in the cinema industry” and yet, numerous protests are being held regarding the absence of black actors nominated. Finding a job in Hollywood is not easy for them, the movie industry prefers black actors to play in servile, demeaning and vulnerable roles. Blacks who play leading and strong roles are rarely recognised. They may be nominated for an Oscar, but rarely win. African-American actresses, in particular, win an Oscar for stereotypical roles that have long been associated (and still are) to black women.