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Touring Exhibitions

Styled in Africa: African Hairdresser and Barbershop Signs


The Slovene Ethnographic Museum, Ljubljana

December 8th 2011 - February 26th 2012.

Exhibition and catalogue by:

Nataše Njegovanović-Ristić, MAA senior curator

Fotografije sa Izložbe

About the exhibition

Visiting exhibition “Styled in Africa: African Hairdresser and Barbershop Signs” is a result of international cooperation between the Slovene Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana and the Museum of African Art in Belgrade. The inaugural speech at the exhibition opening was given by Bojana Rogelj Škafar (PhD), director of SEM, and Narcisa Knežević Šijan, director of MAA.

The “Styled in Africa: African Hairdresser and Barbershop Signs” exhibition presented original boards from Cameroon, Senegal and the Central African Republic, alongside photographs documenting barbershop and hair-saloon signs in Togo, Benin, Ghana and Ivory Coast, dating from the 1970-ies to the present day, and stands as testimony of change characteristic of modern Africa and its popular art scene.

The advertising signs contain all aspects of a specific popular genre, with similarities and differences mirroring the times of their appearance – the stylistic signature, fashion trends and influences from abroad, at the same time revealing a strong respect for the traditional ways of combing hair – the starting point for almost all modern hairstyles. Inherited ideals that meet and merge with contemporary expressions, in this case, new and authentic stylizations and imported styles, create a harmonious symbiosis evident in varying formal designs in the context of elaborating hairstyles for the purpose of creating a visual embellishment of the head.