ubuntu talks art exhibit celebrates black skin, hair, and bodies

September 6, 2017
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Ubuntu Talks is a platform dedicated to creating positive representations of black bodies in the media. Created by Chelsy Monie, Ubuntu Talks presented BEING, its first visual art exhibition, in Montreal, Canada from August 30th through September 3rd. Broken into 3 sections, the exhibition was a celebration of Black skin, hair, and bodies.

“Hair focused on the relationship between hairstylists and their clients, and how hair creates a bond between the two individuals,” Monie explained in an email. “Skin focused on individual skin journeys – looking at the trials of various skin products per person and how they are used for a variety of skin conditions. Finally, body looked at how black bodies are policed in society by those close to us. This involves family and friends saying things like ‘You can’t wear that because you’re too tall/short/fat/small…’”

The exhibition also featured a skincare panel discussion, where attendees were invited to come and share experiences with Black skin.

Below are some images specific to the exploration of Hair, and the statement that was presented along with them:


The client takes a seat on the floor. She may use pillows to make herself comfortable between the hairstylist’s legs. Depending on the desired hairstyle, the two women will sit in this position for many hours. In this sacred space, the two women share a mutual trust. The hairstylist trusts her client in the comfort and privacy of her home, while the client trusts that her hair is in good and caring hands. They pass the time by telling stories, laughing and sharing wisdom with each other. Hair becomes a sort of bridge that connects these two women. As the black woman sits on the floor to get her hair done, she reveals a sort of vulnerability that is scarcely seen elsewhere. The conversations that take place in this environment promote the love and care between a community.

To learn more about the project and future exhibitions in other cities if possible, check out their socials:

Website | Facebook | IG