One artist brilliantly untangles the intersection between history and hair.
You've never seen braiding hair used like this. Tasha Dougé’s 5 x 3 foot American flag is woke art at its best.
The New York-based artist created the piece “This Land is OUR Land”, a flag made out of Black hair, to convey the contributions of slaves to the American landscape in a way that hasn’t been done before.
Inspired by the phrase “Make America Great Again," Dougé used different shades of braiding hair (black, dark brown, brow, gray) to portray the ancestral Black experience in America and acknowledge its impact.
According to an exclusive interview with The New York Times, Dougé was able to create the flag true-to-size by utilizing a technique that allowed her to elongate the braid without creating a new one. She then created the square shape by weaving the hair into chicken wire.
Each part of the intricate piece carries a special meaning, including the cotton put in place of the American flag's stars.
“When I think about this nation as a whole, It wouldn’t be what it is now without the contributions of enslaved Africans," Dougé added.
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“I wanted every element of the flag to have some type of representation: The brown stripes speak to the varying spectrum of color we are (light skinned slaves were in the house and darker slaves were in the field); and we are all interwoven in that trauma of skin tone; the gray represents the years of oppression and it’s ongoing; the black box represents the black experience exclusive to this country. There is something very unique about the experience of black people in America. Cotton is really what spearheaded slavery in the first place.”
Learn more about the thought-provoking hair piece here.