- 31 Aug 20
Irish author Dabiri wrote the 2019 bestseller 'Don’t Touch My Hair' — a ground-breaking study of how black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and ultimately, liberation.
Irish writer, broadcaster and academic talent Emma Dabiri will gather together some of the freshest young black Irish talent for a lively and provocative discussion.
Dabiri's work Don't Touch My Hair begins with her upbringing in Ireland, moving through to pre-colonial West Africa, to the slave trade in America, then on to the market dominance of beauty products in the 20th century, as well as examining at how black hair is valued, appropriated, and misunderstood in the modern age of social media.
'A New Ireland Now' is planning to mash up contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter with the story of Irish liberation, with Dabiri in the driving seat alongside Dublin Theatre Festival.
"The stories we tell reflect and create the world we live in, where history, myth and fiction mix together to shape our changing identities," the show's programme reads.
"A new Ireland is emerging but are we seeing it on our stages and our screens? What does this next generation want to express and which platforms do they use? Who are the gatekeepers?"
Dublin Theatre Festival will be streamed live during the week of September 24 to October 11, 2020.
'A New Ireland Now' will be available online during the Festival, with further details in due course.
Dabiri is also bringing the themes of Don't Touch My Hair to Channel 4 for a new film.
Commissioned by Channel 4 and with the working title Black Hair, the hour-long film — co-funded by Dove and Unilever Entertainment — will ask some of the most important questions facing the Black British population, and and how it is that hair became the most misunderstood, celebrated and fetishised aspect of the black experience.
“Our hair tells many stories; of history, of migration, of enslavement & freedom, of resistance & empowerment, of technological, mathematic & artistic expression. After many years of research, I’m so delighted to bring some of the themes explored in my book to the screen” #DTMH pic.twitter.com/UfbmgZcK2S
— Emma Dabiri (@EmmaDabiri) August 27, 2020