Class of 2021 • Installation

Lauryn meredith

National College of Art and Design


Graduation Year
Class of 2021


My practice explores a set of interrelated themes such as identity, race, history, and ancestry. This work is centered around African Hair. I wanted to bring about the idea of styling hair as a ritualistic experience. Traditionally worn by enslaved women and Laborers, head wraps grew to be one of the few means of expression enslaved peoples had. The Durag promoted the development of waves and braids, among other styles. It was exclusively functional until the 90s, where it became a symbol of Black Culture. The Durag suddenly took on a “criminal association”, seen as lower class. Now Black communities are taking charge to reclaim the durag and redefine it. My work brings about the idea that this tainted fabric has been now reclaimed as a symbol of power. Despite its practical uses, If we remove all the misconceptions we will find that at the most basic level, it's just self-maintenance cloth that is fundamental to black culture and African hair.
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