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18/06/18

Retweetd From Chris Brown

a big shout out to for supporting our school bookshop loving https://t.co/KZggseOjIt

16/06/18

Retweetd From Kourtney

So today was my last day what an amazing 5 years with all my girls . I have been the biggest pain ever but still have had an amazing time . Thank u too all the staff for making it amazing , I’m gonna miss u all and all the student that I know https://t.co/SYDL2Suv2M

15/06/18

Read how our girls were chosen to be part of the PROCESSION in London to mark 100 years of women getting the vote. A big thanks to and for inviting us. Full story/pics at https://t.co/ukeB5QDiND https://t.co/eytHu4BECv

15/06/18

Some great pictures from the Post 16 Harris Federation Sports Day, where we were placed 4th. A huge well done to all our team and everyone who supported them! https://t.co/vPmvm8eDLI

15/06/18

Retweetd From Southwark News

Amazing photographers and Afro Art creators came to to inspire young women to embrace their natural hair and skin https://t.co/ricU6wlllA

14/06/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

So proud of our photography student for winning the competition and getting work experience out of it! https://t.co/TQwKOef6OO

14/06/18

We've arrived at Thorpe Park for our annual Summer Extravaganza Trip. We're off to a flying start and girls having fun already! https://t.co/ix8jIADBk2

14/06/18

Nice article in about the visit by two renowned American photographers to our school last week. Read it at https://t.co/ceUGZzsZjf https://t.co/Lk2Ph1tR3B

09/06/18

Retweetd From OperatingTheatreLive

Are you aged 14-19? Are you interested in a future career in ? We have free places for our award winning surgical experience coming to London Southwark. Head over to https://t.co/BeJT6OZgKE for more information. https://t.co/y85GcV6Q2P

09/06/18

Retweetd From Clare Stanhope

Can’t wait for this, marching with and yr9 students from hope to hook up with at some point 😁💪🏻💥 https://t.co/4lNIejh1YI

09/06/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Fascinating to find out about all these gems that can support students, teachers and academics in exploring the opportunities in the arts https://t.co/vxm8t3WWXF

07/06/18

Retweetd From Leading Routes

📆 Join us on Saturday 16 June at our Parents and carers’ event! Registration is open now! 👩🏾‍🎓 👨🏾‍🎓 https://t.co/0zUaSRsk5p https://t.co/rrPozG0ret

06/06/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

We are walking for and with the feminists of the future. Celebrating activists of the past whose voices still echo through present day issues of post-colonialism, whilst perusing the hopeful futures of our young activists. https://t.co/mtPQ3zLpFo

05/06/18

You might be interested to read about this... a visit to the school last week by two celebrated American photographers, which was hugely inspiring for our girls. Find out why at https://t.co/uOK8p1pJTH https://t.co/D5oXlzhXA7

04/06/18

Retweetd From CreativeSoul Photo

THE highlight of our UK trip was our visit to the academy. Thanks so much fot having us! Check out our visit below.. https://t.co/5ZWLWF1zs5

04/06/18

Read the story of how Atlanta-based inspired our students to celebrate their natural beauty and explore hair and cultural identity. And we got on CBS news too! Find out more https://t.co/uOK8p1pJTH https://t.co/qKMUkoqwcW

04/06/18

Retweetd From Heather Agyepong

I had the honour of working with to produce a Ghanaian inspired commemorative cloth honouring WOC activists in Britain. Come & join us on June 10th for one of the largest mass participation artworks ever seen! Watch the vid for more details https://t.co/ryAqWiVcTS

04/06/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Very proud to have been a part of this with . Join us! 💥 https://t.co/vyY9BVb14X

04/06/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Be part of something amazing! Well done to the HGAED ye9 students for their part in this film!! https://t.co/8Sy170Vo9U

24/05/18

Thanks for coming in! Our students really got a lot out of the visit, and thanks to too. Great initiative...

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Latest News

Posted on May 31st 2018

Afro Art Photographers Work with HGAED Girls

Creative Soul   portraitWhen teacher Sarah Thompson saw some striking images of young African-Americans on Facebook last November she couldn’t have anticipated the impact they would have on students at Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich.

The portraits, from a series called Afro Art, showed young people celebrating their natural hair and beauty.

Sarah, who manages our Health Hut – a project encouraging girls to focus on health and wellbeing – wanted to use the pictures to prompt discussion about cultural identity, hair and skin.

“So many Black and mixed race girls use powerful chemicals to straighten their hair from an early age,” says Sarah, who is herself mixed race and remembers students being bullied for their hair and skin colour when she was at school.

“I wanted girls to see that they have a choice and that their own natural appearance is beautiful,” she said.

Creative Soul   RiaCreative Soul photographers

Sarah wrote to Atlanta-based photographers Kahren and Regis Bethencourt (pictured here with one of our students - see full story below) who run a company called Creative Soul. She asked if she could print off the pictures and display them at the school.

The photographers quickly replied that they would be delighted. Even better, they would send the school a free set of large prints for Sarah to use.

When the prints arrived Sarah decided to hold a competition on the theme of ‘Identity’. She invited our girls to write about how the images made them feel. Lots of students took up the challenge. When Leah, for example, saw the image featured above she wrote: “ I wanted everyone to look at this, and to be able to encourage them to let their inner personality shine.”

To show Kahren and Regis the impact of their pictures on our students, Sarah filmed Leah’s response and sent it to America.

In fact, the Afro Art pictures were now going viral. They were being liked and shared on the internet thousands of times. CBS News covered the story, using Leah's film to show their international impact. Watch Leah on CBS news!

Photographers visit the school

Then Kahren and Regis wrote to Sarah telling her they were coming to England in May and could they visit? They had been so impressed with the competition that Sarah had organised and wanted to meet our girls in person.

So last week the photographers spent the day at the school judging the competition winners and meeting students to talk about the pictures and why they took them.

Creative Soul   library

"We were amazed and inspired by the overwhelming response to our photos by the students at Harris Girls’ Academy,” said Kahran. “It is one of our greatest accomplishments to know that our work has made a positive impact on so many young girls in the UK and the world.”

The photographers were ‘blown away’ by our students’ art and fascinated to learn about our Black Victorians project and our work with artist-in-residence Alix Bizet on a project about hair and cultural identity. They read every single competition entry and spent time with our photography students too.

Creative Soul   exhibition

Sadly, one of the competition winners, Ria, was not in school that day to meet the photographers. She was really disappointed so Sarah asked Kahren if there was any way Ria could meet them while they were in the UK. “Kahren said they were working on a photoshoot that weekend and would Ria like to come and help out?” said Sarah. "So last weekend Ria assisted at the photoshoot in London and had an amazing experience."

“The faculty, staff and students were so welcoming and made our visit an experience that we will never forget,” said Regis. “We will continue using the feedback from the students as motivation to continue our work inspiring girls around the world to see their unique differences as assets rather than obstacles.”


Creative Soul 2   for permissionInspired by this image, competition winner, Ria, wrote about how she used to continuously straighen her hair in order to "manipulate and change the texture of my hair and also to avoid comments such as 'why is your hair like that'."

She wrote: "On media platforms and the film industry there is a limited portrayal of the black community celebrating their natural beauty, and there is also a limited portrayal of dark skinned models and actors in the industry and to witness [the Afro Art] series of images is something very rare and and striking.

"And on a personal level, these images have had a very powerful effect on my perception of beauty and if I had seen more images like this [when I was younger] it would defintiely have had a positive effect on my self esteem."


The visit was covered by Southwark News too.

140618 SouthwarkNews HGAEDPhotographerVisit