31 October 2019
The aim of this dissertation is to discuss artistic renditions pertinent to hair and hairstyles of black women of African descent. The dissertation references and discusses artworks by selected South African, American, and Zimbabwean artists, namely Gavin Jantjes, Tracey Rose, Zanele Muholi, Lorna Simpson, Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter as well as Nontsikelelo Mutiti, as they challenge ideas calcified through visual culture in order to counter the negative narratives associated with blackness and black hair.
This is achieved by the use of qualitative content analysis of the selected artworks regarding the issues of representation relating to the hair and hairstyling of black women of African descent. The research applies a postcolonial framework and the literature of Frantz Fanon, Homi K Bhabha, Pierre Bourdieu, Kobena Mercer, and Stuart Hall amongst others are employed to further explore notions of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, mimicry, globalisation, and hybridity. The selected artworks are critically analysed in terms of these concepts.
Keywords: Black hairstyling, othering, mimicry, globalisation, hybridity