Work > Films

White Afro
White Afro
16mm Film transfer to video
6 mins

WHITE AFRO


CAST & CREW

Produced by: Obibini Pictures, LLC
Directed by: Akosua Adoma Owusu
Cinematography by Akosua Adoma Owusu
Narration by Nana Saah Adwubi Kete
Edited by Dylan Bowman
Sound Design & Mix by Kari Rae Seekins

GRANTS & SUPPORT

Pratt Institute Faculty Development Fund
Mono No Aware

SYNOPSIS

A barber school haircut training video on how to give a white person an "Afro" hair-do.

The final film in Owusu’s hair trilogy, White Afro (2019), employs an archival instructional video produced by the educational department of the Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied Industries Association on how to offer curly perms or body waving services to their white clientele, ostensibly for financial gain. The training video is intermingled with Owusu’s mother’s experience working as a hairstylist at a predominantly white hair salon called Fantastic Sam's in Alexandria, Virginia. Offering a rare perspective on the Afro hairstyle—as an unmistakable marker of Black collective power that becomes a desirable, and appropriated, aesthetic during liberation movements—the film also expands on the abilities of non-Black beauticians and barbers to wield their shops as spaces for political change. -- CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts