The Neighborhood Hair Salon as Living Oral History Archive

By Jonathon Fairhead

This installation is a part of Then, Now, Next: Oral History for Social Change, OHMA's multimedia interactive popup exhibition of stories, which will take place at the Refectory at Union Theological Seminary on April 29, 2015.

This exhibit will focus on the hair stylist as oral historian. Participants will be invited to sit in the barber seat and talk about their hair, their relationships to their hairdressers, the changes they have made with their hair, and the changes they have wanted to make with their hair. The focus of the discussion will be on remembering the role of the hair dresser in the realm of the lived experience of the participant. Who knows what about you? How long did you go to that salon? How did it come that you changed styles, or a salon? What have you recorded about the life of your hair stylist?

Jonathon Fairhead was born in Cape Town, South Africa and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is an Ed.M candidate in Peace Education in Teachers College, Columbia University. Jonathon uses oral history to engage autodidacts, performance artists, and activists on issues of community and learning.

Read more about Then, Now, Next: Oral History and Social Change.