This must-see exhibition celebrates curls in all their glory

The Curl Talk Project curated by Parisian-Londoner Johanna Yoo is out to show just how beautiful every twist, curve and wave can be


What are you doing on International Women’s Day? If you really want to support black female-led ventures, there are few places more deserving of your attention than this fascinating new photographic event.

Aleah, UK

Head over to Hoxton in east London for a showcase that will get you digging out your curlers and hot rollers in no time. Called The Curl Talk Project, it’s an exhibition by Parisian-Londoner Johanna Yaovi, who’s put together an incredibly powerful display of curly-haired women in all their fantastic forms.

Aude, France

Curls, unravelled

Yaovi has produced a colourful and diverse exhibition, telling the stories of women - from different walks of life, race and backgrounds - who share a common curly trait. Yaovi calls it: “A photographic portfolio of experiences that explores the existing link between natural hair and the notions of femininity, women empowerment, race, diversity and representation.”

Roxanne, France

She adds: “After having organised multiple events since the creation of the project in 2017 (supported by o2 and Google for Startups) I am about to launch the first ever photography exhibition that exclusively showcases portraits of curly haired women. Coming from a diverse range of countries, backgrounds and ethnicities, women (more than 100 have taken part) share their realities and reveal what it means to have textured hair in a society where the standard is otherwise.”

Real and relatable

Inside the exhibition, Yaovi brought together a host of honest stories from women about their relationship with their hair – the good and bad – taking some of the most poignant from her Curl Talk Project, which she has built up over the years.

For instance, there’s Hanna from Sweden on her yo-yoing connection with her curls: "It’s a bitter-sweet dilemma, almost like being bipolar when it comes to my hair. I wish I didn’t have to defend it so much, sometimes it’s also good to let go and just accept that my hair is here, it’s me, it’s a representation of my culture and heritage, even on the days when I don’t feel like liking it."

Djamila from the Netherlands, meanwhile, takes on the amazing versatility of her texture. "I don’t really think about our level of representation as curly haired women but I certainly do think about the importance of complimenting each other! There are so many things that can be done with curly hair and it’s essential to highlight it in the best way, even if it’s just about saying to a fellow curly girl that she looks great!”

There’s a small window of opportunity to visit the exhibition, free to enter, which runs from Friday 6 March to Monday 9 March 2020. So don’t miss out!
Open from 11am – 6pm at Hoxton 253 Gallery, 253 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, London N1 5LG

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