On Saturday 18 Feb, we were joined by the really very lovely Richard and Lewis from the Haircut Before the Party. They turned house zero into their hair salon for the afternoon, and gave 11 Sanford residents a free haircut.
All they asked in exchange for the chop was a little chit-chat. Richard and Lewis started swopping haircuts for conversation in squats, but their project grew into an Arts Admin funded hair salon on Toynbee Steet, near Spitalfields Market. In their own words:
"The Haircut Before The Party collective formed in 2009 while sharing the collective experience of squatted housing. The haircut and the social space of the hair salon is for us a means of exploring and asserting a politics that transcends representation and focuses on contact; the formation of friendships, interactions between difference, and negotiation of what is common.
Our salons are set up as spaces for providing a means of pointing towards other projects, initiatives or ideas. The barbers chair acts as a pedagogical tool; conversation is nurtured, teased out or performed in social space.
We cut hair for free, not to offer a service, but to style together the potentiality of new forms of being and exchange".
And, as you can see, their haircuts weren't bad either. It was first come, first snipped, and those that got Mohicans manicured, facial hair homogenised and barnets beautified were: Bapu, Katherine, Meghan, Jess, Fedi, Jonny, Lucia, Edwin, Sine and, recently ex-Sanford resident, Naomi.
All the hair scraps went in the compost, so a little bit of Saturday afternoon will live on, circle-of-life style, long after the haircuts have grown out…