Media @ McGill

"In(hair)itance: Self-representation and the Use of African Hair in Contemporary Art By Black Female Artists in Canada and the United-States"

Submitted by Media@McGill on


Joana Joachim

This project critiques the impacts of the West’s colonial beauty standards on Black women while also addressing the broader issues of cultural capital and access to self-representation. My research seeks to understand how enslaved Black women in Canada maintained their hair and self-care practices under such conditions and to analyze the importance of hairstyling and grooming practices as well as the transformation of Black female hair care in Canada over time. A comparative study of contemporary Black female artists in Canada and the United States will serve the double purpose of discussing the long-standing relationship between Black women’s hair, self-representation, self-care, and self-esteem in North America as well as providing a critical examination of the under-explored and neglected artwork of Black Canadian women.