Hair Apparent; a voyage around my roots is a performance written and presented by Tina Shingler and it’s about life, love, and making the most of your own ‘hairstory’. Poignant, funny and informative, it aims to be both celebratory and inspirational.
“Growing up a mixed-race child in the white heartland of North Yorkshire in the sixties” says Tina, “I realised that my wiry afro hair was as much a distinguishing feature and a talking point as my dark skin. My white foster-mother struggled with it, and as a child I absorbed all of her frustration around managing it. I saw it as a troublesome beast that I must somehow learn to tame.
Then along came the musical Hair, and the ‘afro’ (or hair just like mine) suddenly became the hair to have. It was the first time I’d seen my kind of hair being celebrated and valued. It was a revelation.
As a young adult I began to travel and I noticed the different responses to my hair; curiosity, hostility, delight and derision. It was like seeing the world reflected back at me as different cultures, social trends, fashion, and sexual politics all had their say about how I should feel about my natural kinky hair.
I wanted to map this journey from childhood to adulthood through the perspective of changing attitudes to natural afro hair both my own, and that of both black and white cultures in the UK and overseas.”
Hair Apparent; a voyage around my roots lasts approximately one hour and is accompanied throughout with vibrant images and music. Crossing historical and geographical boundaries, the ‘voyage’ drops anchor in Yorkshire, India, Italy, and the US. En route it raises talking points on everything from race, politics, gender and self-image to exploring creativity.