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Defiantly dominating space in public spaces

On July 18th, the LAMBB team travelled up to Birmingham as part of the Festival of Audacity; where we screened the award-winning short film Future First along with a self-love workshop. The performance took place outside at the Rotunda Square in the City Centre.

The social issue tackled in Future First is cultural appropriation, by definition this means; “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, or ideas of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.” The conversations around cultural appropriation are seemingly adverse and the proposed viable option is; white people shouldn’t wear braids or hooped earrings. However, the issue isn’t wearing the hairstyles, this can simply be deemed as cultural exchange, and every country or tribe has exchanged methods or products with another, its how the world was built. The real issue is a dominant culture claiming something as its own without crediting the originators – which can have negative social and economical implications on those being appropriated.

The notion behind the performance in Birmingham was to recreate a central and personal image in most black homes: a mother braiding her daughter’s hair in a public space. Our audience ranged from different ages, cultures and backgrounds, of whom engaged in discussions around feminism and the education and history of black hair. On a microcosmic scale the moment perfectly depicted the definition of cultural exchange.

Photos courtesy of: Jennifer O'Neil @bucaptures/ Shirin Naveed @shirinnav

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