African hair at Berlin’s Fashion x Hair x Design

Friday June 14 2019

Paris Adama’s installation titled Shameless Afro Hair. PHOTO | OTHELLO DE SOUZA-HARTLEY


Black hair has always been a topic of cultural debate as to what defines world beauty standards.

In 2017, Oscar-winning Kenyan Hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o vented her frustration on Instagram when the UK-based Grazia magazine digitally altered her hair for its front cover of the November edition, essentially to cater for its Caucasian readership.

Lupita's was and still is every black woman's battle against racist European hair and dress codes, and which are now facing a massive decolonisation campaign.

The decolonisation of African hair will be among the topics that will be discussed and displayed at an exhibition and research project titled Connecting Afro Futures: Fashion x Hair x Design at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Berlin from August 23 to December 1, 2019.

It is organised by Connecting Afro Futures in partnership with Fashion Africa Now, Fluctuating Images and Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, and funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Currently, an innovative generation of African fashion designers are engaged in rethinking contemporary “African” fashion while establishing new designer hubs throughout the continent. 


The Kunstgewerbemuseum invited a number of participants from Africa to develop installation projects on the themes of fashion and hair and to initiate a new perspective on the museum context.

The artists/fashion designers that will feature at the exhibition are: Anderson Lamula (fashion designer, UK/Uganda); Meschac Gaba (artist, Benin); Jose Hendo (fashion designer, UK/Uganda); Paris Adama (fashion designer, Senegal); Allen Nabukenya (artist/fashion designer, Uganda) and Adinan Mulindwa and Ali Musinguzi (fashion designers, Uganda); with further work by: Diana Ejaita (illustrator, Germany); Darlyne Komukama (artist; Uganda); Ken Aicha Sy (artist/curator, Senegal), among others.

The curators are Claudia Banz, Cornelia Lund, and Beatrice Angut Oola.