We totally didn’t know it would get this big…
Day 1 of our two-day exhibit, “You Can Touch My Hair” happened yesterday and it got quite the reaction. Some have welcomed it as a much needed discussion, while others dub it a human petting zoo. I’ve been holding back my response to the response because the exhibit needn’t be explained or defended. Art is something that should create a response, whether it be an emotional one or a verbal, a good response or bad response. And really good art has the power to create change. Is this really good art? That’s yet to be seen and we may not see it’s impact, if any, for years.
But at the very least a dialogue was started and that was the intent. ”Can I touch your hair?” is no longer a question only I and my friends are talking and venting about. So far hundreds (maybe thousands?) have put their two cents into the matter and we want more people to join the conversation. And maybe amongst all the tweets in the Twitter-bate and comments in the articles that were written about the exhibit there is real insight in the larger issue at hand or maybe this is just a moment for us to collectively vent.
We encourage more people to partake in this discussion. Join the #youcantouchmyhair or the #youcanTtouchmyhair debates on Twitter or leave a comment here. The conversation that is happening is not a comfortable one, and as I told Julee from the Huffingtonpost, sometimes we have to get comfortable in being uncomfortable to really break ground.
(On a side note, it would really be great for everyone participating in this convo to read the article that started it all. Also, call me biased, but this article is a good account of what went down yesterday).
In the days following day 2 of the exhibit we will share a more in-depth account of the event and what we learned, but for now here are the highlights from yesterday…
(UPDATE 6/13/13: Many have asked, “What were you thinking?!” We explain here.)
Teaser video from yesterday’s exhibit. More will certainly come after tomorrow’s event…
Imani Perry (Professor, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University) and Michaela Angela Davis (Image Activist / Editorial Brand Manager at BET) joined in on the discussion on HuffPost Live watch the full video here.
The intersection of revulsion & desire for the raced/gendered Other is encapsulated in #YouCanTouchMyHair.
— Proteas & Magnolias (@ArriannaMarie) June 7, 2013
— Ofelia P in NJ (@OfeliaPnj) June 7, 2013
— Kirby (@STFUKirbs) June 7, 2013
— Kinks & Curls (@kinksandcurls) June 7, 2013
#youcantouchmyhair and I hope it opens up dialogue about WHY our hair is viewed as the "other" instead of just regular hair (2/2)
— peaceblossoms (@localocaloba22) June 7, 2013
— g wafer (@TallGrrl) June 7, 2013
please DO NOT ATTEMPT this #youcantouchmyhair stuff with your friends/acquaintances
— Keidra (@kdc) June 7, 2013
— EMPRESS MARLEY (@theFCKNempress) June 4, 2013
My personal fav:
— glitter-trap-sass♏ (@bobeaubreaux) June 6, 2013