Turning Heads: Hair as Culture and Identity

Turning Heads: Hair as Identity and Culture

Turning Heads is an exciting project delivered by Libraries NI with support from The Carnegie UK Trust’s Engaging Libraries project, Ulster University and The Armstrong Story Telling Trust that explores the theme of hair as an important part of our identity and culture. Hair can say a lot about who we are, whether we have it or not, choose to colour or not, cover it or not. Hair can identify our taste in music or fashion and can carry our DNA. Turning Heads aims to spark conversation and challenge stereotypes while exploring the cultural and societal significance that hair has – it’s not just hair!

Turning Heads will be delivered through a series of online events, talks, workshops and an exhibition.

To register your place for an event, click on the links below.

For more information about each event please click on the + symbol beside the date and time.

Date/Time Event Title Description Register link

Tuesday 21 September
12:30pm - 2:00pm

Women and hair: shame and punishment in Irish history
with Dr Leanne McCormick, Ulster University

Dr Leanne McCormick will deliver a lecture on how cutting hair has been used to shame and punish women in the past with a focus on Magdalene Laundries in Ireland. Dr McCormick is Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish Social History and Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland (CHOMI) at Ulster University. Dr McCormick’s research interests include women's history, history of sexuality and history of medicine in Ireland/Northern Ireland. Dr McCormick is co-author of the Department of Health commissioned report on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland. Dr McCormick is also working on a project, 'Bad Bridget: Criminal and Deviant Irish Women in North America, 1838-1918' funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is a member of the Heritage and Library Committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and Stakeholder and User Forum member of Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.

This event may not be suitable for young children.

Click here to register.

Wednesday 22 September
7:00pm - 8:00pm

Roots: An Afro-Caribbean Hair Conversation

Q&A Panel Event

This event will be led by Beyond Skin in partnership with House of 4c Salon and Lush UK Belfast and will focus on the cultural significance, heritage, sensitivities, and social pressures of hair for people from African & Caribbean communities or of African Descent.

The event will be compered by Kerry Anderson a project manager at Beyond Skin and a graduate from Queens University having studied conflict transformation and social justice.

The three Panellists will be 1. Stephanie Laird-Arnold – Community worker, artist and founder of ethnic minorities families club Jam 'n' Irè
2. Magne Raissa Makougang – Hair stylist at House of 4C Salon
3. Rwanda Shaw – musician

This event will complement the film Beyond Skin produced earlier this year Roots: An Afro-Caribbean Hair Conversation https://youtu.be/BUy-mNJxe9Y

Free Virtual Event

Ormeau Road Library

Click here to register.

Thursday
23 September
12:30pm - 2:00pm

The Supernatural History
and Folklore of Hair:
Magic, Charms, and "Superstition”
with Dr Andrew Sneddon, Ulster University

Dr Andrew Sneddon will speak about The Supernatural History and Folklore of Hair: Magic, Charms, and "Superstition”. This talk will take place via zoom.

Dr Sneddon is a social and cultural historian, whose latest research explores Irish witchcraft, magic and the supernatural from the medieval to the modern period. He is the author of ‘Possessed by the Devil: the Real History of the Islandmagee Witches’ (2013) and ‘Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland’ (2015). He is currently working on two new books - ‘Magic and Identity in Modern Ireland’ and ‘Magic and Disability and in Early Modern Britain, Ireland and America’, as well as editing a collection on the cultural history of magic in Enlightenment Europe.
Dr Sneddon is a lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities at the Ulster University. He is a fellow of Higher Education Academy and the Royal Historical Society, and president of the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. .

Click here
to register.

Thursday 23 September
7:00pm - 8:00pm

Hair Brush! Singing Workshop with Siobhan Brown and Rwanda Shaw

As part of Good Relations Week 2021, Hair Brush! The Singing Workshop will focus on the cultural significance, heritage, sensitivities and social pressures of hair for people from African and Caribbean communities or of African descent.

In this fun but powerful virtual workshop Siobhan Brown (Singer, radio presenter, founder of Manukahunney & Cairde Community Choir) and Rwanda Shaw (Musician & Songwriter) will talk about how to overcome fears, peer pressure and cultural differences while learning how to show the world your authentic self.

Free Virtual Event

Family event.

Those attending under 18 must be accompanied online by parent/guardian/youth leader

Book ticket through eventbrite.co.uk

Friday
24 September
12:30pm - 2:00pm

Ginger Genetics: a celebration of red hair.
A talk by Dr Declan McKenna, Ulster University

Dr McKenna will discuss the ‘ginger gene’, explaining how it affects hair colour and why it is so common in Northern Ireland. He will explore the cultural significance of red hair throughout human history, discuss ‘gingerism’ and explain why red hair is now an object of desire.
Dr McKenna is Associate Head of School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster, where he is also a member of the Genomic Medicine Research Group. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and a Chartered Science Teacher.
A registered member of the STEM Ambassador programme in Northern Ireland, he has a long-standing collaboration with the W5 Science Discovery Centre, Belfast delivering STEM activities for schools and the general public. He makes regular contributions to the annual NI Science Festival, RTE Brainstorm and other initiatives promoting Public Engagement in Science.

Click here
to register.

Thursday 30 September
7:00pm - 8:00pm

JoinHair with JoinHer' with Lori Gatsi-Barnett, Nana Mulundika, Siobhan, Stephanie, Raissa, Rwanda, Rachael & Mim

We welcome some incredible women to the forefront to talk about the social pressures of women in today's society. Lead by Lori Gatsi-Barnett and Nana Milundika from JoinHer network you will be in for some great conversation and insights.

Free Virtual Event

A workshop for women 15 years +

Those attending under 18 must be accompanied online by parent/guardian/youth leader

Book ticket through eventbrite.co.uk

Wednesday
27 October
12:30pm - 2:00pm

'Bad Hair: Folklore, Witches, and Fairies'
with Dr Andrew Sneddon, Ulster University

Dr Andrew Sneddon will speak about 'Bad Hair: Folklore, Witches, and Fairies'. This talk will take place via zoom.

Dr Sneddon is a social and cultural historian, whose latest research explores Irish witchcraft, magic and the supernatural from the medieval to the modern period. He is the author of ‘Possessed by the Devil: the Real History of the Islandmagee Witches’ (2013) and ‘Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland’ (2015). He is currently working on two new books - ‘Magic and Identity in Modern Ireland’ and ‘Magic and Disability and in Early Modern Britain, Ireland and America’, as well as editing a collection on the cultural history of magic in Enlightenment Europe.
Dr Sneddon is a lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities at the Ulster University.
He is a fellow of Higher Education Academy and the Royal Historical Society, and president of the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies.

This event is not suitable for children.

Click here
to register.


Engaging Libraries, Wellcome, Carnegie UK Trust and The Wolfson

Armstrong Storytelling TrustUlster University