AFRO ARCHIVES – A PERFORMER’s WORLD – Episode Twelve

What Is The Best Thing About Your Hair?

Over the last 12 months, the Afro Archives series looked at how the acting industry is set up and compared experiences of people with different hair textures, ages, genders and cultural backgrounds.

In answering the above question, this is what the actors featured in our series have said:

Afro Archives Quotes Africa Fashion

After hearing from all our actors, we end our series in PART THREE with actress Alice Fofana who for me puts in perspective a significant hair journey unique to a woman of African descent. Alice chemically relaxed her afro hair as a young adult. On returning to the acting profession, Alice decided to stop relaxing her hair and wear it natural. “I shouldn’t feel that I can’t go to a casting with my afro out, I shouldn’t feel I can’t be beautiful with my afro out, my hair does not represent who I am. I am me…”

It is clear that afro-textured hair is not understood and is not catered for on a relatively equal basis. Stereotypes exist based on hair, and this has cultural roots. Alice’s honest testimony exposes the negative effect that this has: everyone regardless of race, colour, age or gender should be able to be themselves. The acting profession is a microcosm of the world we live in.

Afro Archives Episode 12 Africa Fashion

My 12th episode for Afro Archives ‘A Performer’s’ World’, is now complete.

I have a feeling my journey exploring issues related to women with afro-textured hair and working within the acting profession – has only now begun. 

Afro Archives has opened debate and given me an opportunity to gather detailed, direct information from true experiences on the topic of hair and working in the acting industry. I’ve been able to share that information with those in a position to make a difference in the acting world, improving my own lot too. As we share experiences, we empower ourselves by obtaining knowledge and a sense of unity. Afro Archives is also an example of a point I truly believe in, which is that we can do nothing great alone. Friends, who believe in us, make us rich. And on that note…

THANK YOU to all my friends who formed the cast and crew of Afro Archives for your honesty, time and being your Great Selves. A particular thank you to Imogen Dall and Chris Lovell our on location director and DOP.

Our original music was created by Livvy Baker-Mendoza, who perfectly captured the light and energy  – thank you Livvy for your inspired sensitivity. Robbie Spotswood took our beautiful stills, which has helped us share Afro Archives extensively. A further and joyful thank you to the Black Cultural Archives for hosting us on our filming day. The grace, and generosity of the BCA gifted us with the possibility of bringing Afro Archives to fruition, and then went even further by making our filming day EASY. Lastly, and enhanced with bountiful curls, twists, and endless bounce  – a very BIG thank you Africa Fashion for inspiration, giving Afro Archives a home, guidance and unconditional support. Forever, and always fam.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the glimpse into the hair journeys of an actor in A Performer’s World.  Thanks for following the #AfroArchives series and if you’re an actor or just have a great hair story to share, we’d love to hear your feedback. Get in touch online or email (afroarchives@gmail.com). You can also read the Afro Archives Transcripts, for every hairy word.

Watch out for AfroArchives Live in 2017!

About Ayesha Casely-Hayford

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