The Kink Connection depicts the bridge between hairstyles throughout the diaspora and the relationships it enhances. It was created in conjunction with The Cultural Union for Black Expression (CUBE) and Karibu Association for Black History Month in 2017.
"These photos are a representation of a connected history. The narrative of coils and curls that live on the heads of students. Each photo is a part of the revolution to embrace the hair that expresses the distinctiveness of a culture. What does it mean to have coiled or braided hair? The answer would be different for each person in the photo.
Hair is a form of expression, and braids, cornrows and naturals are all extensions of the people who wear them. Black hair is kinky and coils together tightly like the vines of a deep rooted tree. The roots connect to past histories and narratives that resist the notion that dreads, locs, afros or braids are distracting in the classroom or unprofessional in the workplace. To embrace your hair means to embrace your skin and the influence that comes along with both.
Historically, beauty has been evaluated on racial lines which has left black folks, or those that resemble us, at the bottom of the totem pole. 'Black features' like full lips, kinky hair, dark skin has historically been deemed as 'ugly'. This classification is based in a racist hierarchal system that uses a combination of intellect, beauty and civility to paint the image of a sub-human black person. BUT NO MORE!! We embrace our hair. Our hair isn’t something that needs to be 'relaxed' or 'neatly kept', it needs good treatment and freedom to grow." --Demetrius Brown '18, CUBE President (2016-18) and Project Co-Lead
Date: November 2016-February 2017
Role: Photographer and Set Designer
Gallery: Buntrock Cage Gallery at St. Olaf College