Meredith Lancaster said her beard has been an affair her absolute life.
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Growing up in a “mixed” ancestors — accepting a white mother and a atramentous ancestor — in a predominately white Los Angeles adjacency in the 1990s, she said tensions accompanying to chase were high.
“There were riots, protests, a lot was accident because of issues of race,” she said. “I anticipate my mom was abashed to ability out to women of blush and apprentice how to accord with the adversity that was my hair.”
More than 20 years later, Lancaster is a UO alum and the babysitter of a new exhibit, “Don’t Touch My Hair: Expressions of Character and Community,” aperture Friday at the Jordan Schnitzer Building of Art.
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“Don’t Touch My Hair” delves into the backroom of hair, racialized adorableness standards, beard rituals, character and the altered expectations for beard amid altered communities.
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The UO Analysis of Equity and Inclusion, decidedly analysis carnality admiral Dr. Yvette Alex-Assensoh, as able-bodied as the Atramentous Women of Achievement, played basic roles in the accord of the exhibit. The activity was adjourned by the admittance division.
The display will advertise portraits of individuals and groups, with their claimed beard belief alongside them. The photographed individuals and the photographers are all University of Oregon students.
UO green Ugochukwu Akabike, one of the photographers for the exhibit, said alive on the display challenged and afflicted his acumen of hair.
“I achievement the association gets complex and it leads to bodies cerebration about what someone’s beard ability beggarly to them — I apperceive I didn’t afore this,” he said. “It’s abundant for aberration out of what you’ve been apparent to with your own beard by seeing the belief of others.”
Leading up to the exhibition, bristles association conversations were captivated at the museum, area acceptance came and discussed the backroom of hair, aggregate their claimed beard belief and were optionally photographed for the exhibit.
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The conversations centered about a alternation of questions apropos the backroom of hair, including: What aspects of your association accept been anon created, adequate or disconnected through hair? And: How has race/ethnicity shaped your compassionate of adorableness standards?
UO apprentice and abettor babysitter Kristen Clayton said an boilerplate of eight acceptance came to anniversary conversation.
“Too generally you see addition and you don’t apperceive their personality and the adventure abaft their hair,” she said. “The association conversations we had accustomed bodies to altercate their differences with their beard and allotment in a unified conversation.”
Lancaster said accepting acceptance appear and allotment their claimed belief was valuable, and it brought ablaze to the abyss of acceptation that exists abaft an individual’s hair.
“To accept some acceptance say, ‘I’m lucky, I’ve never had to do annihilation to my hair,’ others say they absorb hours a day accomplishing their beard aloof to feel like they fit in, to addition being cutting a hijab, accoutrement their beard altogether — and again to see anybody amount out what this agency and why all of this matters, is aloof so important,” she said.
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Lancaster said she hopes accepting the students’ claimed beard belief abutting to their photographs will animate added conversations about race, individuality and hair, and that the building will accept added community-based, collaborative exhibits such as this in the future.
“I’m so amorous about this activity because I spent lots of time, money and tears disturbing over my beard throughout the years,” Lancaster said. “Now that I’m older, I’ve begin my people. They don’t affliction about my bark or my coiled hair. I can be me after accepting to run and hide, I can be natural.”
When: Friday through May 13; building hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
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Talk: Babysitter Meredith Lancaster will accord a bout of the display and allocution from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday
Admission: $5, $3 for 62 or older, and chargeless for 18 or younger, students, UO faculty/staff and building members
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