Othello De'Souza-Hartley

Photographer and visual artist

I AM

  • 2P4A3161 to Othello 8bit hairb.jpg

    2P4A3161 to Othello 8bit hairb.jpg

  • I AM -Oct 2016.jpg

    I AM -Oct 2016.jpg


I see this project as solidarity with black women and the pressures they face from the dominant societal notions of European standards of beauty and pressures from within their own communities. I remember growing up and hearing elders saying good hair, meaning someone with straighter hair. Implying Afro Hair is not good hair.

Black women wearing their natural hair in the workplace is not seen as professional. The recent protests in South Africa were black girls were being forced into straightening their hair and being told their natural hair is distracting.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has touched on some of the restrictions it brings.

"Relaxing your hair is like being in prison," she wrote. "You're caged in. Your hair rules you."