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19/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Excited to be for a#ARTiculation discovery day. https://t.co/9aVS79hVEJ

19/10/18

Retweetd From St Anne's Outreach

Great to be welcoming and to and this morning for our first Year 9 and 10 Discovery Day visit of the academic year! We hope you enjoy your visit! https://t.co/9ZyExMt2ko

17/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Fantastic to haveMark ‘Mr.T’ Thompson leading our final session, weaving poetry into what has been a fascinating week of words, art, collaboration, hairy tales, archives, stories and sharing memories. https://t.co/ZJN7VHYbu5

17/10/18

Our in-house statistician has pointed out that we've been in the top 5% of schools for the past seven years (not 4%), but still pretty good huh?!

17/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Ria HGAED artist leads a workshop on her art work The Changing Face of SE15, as discussions evolve the words are stitched into the garment https://t.co/LryX13Hk5p

16/10/18

So proud to be in the top 4% of schools in England for pupil progress, according to latest Department for Education figures. to our our amazing teachers! Find out more https://t.co/qAHHMRB8XC https://t.co/mwxmUqiisz

15/10/18

Very proud to have received the Mayor of London's award for second year in a row. Mayor Sadiq Kahn: “I’d like to congratulate Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich for the fantastic work of their staff and pupils." Great work everyone! https://t.co/pjQA5ES98r

15/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Wonderful evening of Hairytage discussions. Thanks to Nadira and Ahamed for leading the Debate Cake session, to our panel of speakers Ria Addison Gayle HGAED artist, Alix Bizet - artist, Dr.Camilla Stanger -Goldsmiths and Sandra Vacciana- Know Your Roots project. https://t.co/TCiUOAxOWC

15/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

A level workshop with Alix Bizet, discussing , the plight of Afro hair salons in https://t.co/0DEqqB3Q27

12/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Reimagining the archive, a mix of research, symbolising stories, creative explorations with conversation and music. https://t.co/ePWyoFVjqh

12/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Hairytage is underway! First session is yr9 HGAED students interviewing Peckham residents. Inspired by The Mussing Chapter: Black Chronicles thanks to . Creating a living archive. https://t.co/pBGQgEDR9Q

12/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Delighted to have Dr. Nicole King from Goldsmiths university leading the second session today, discussing Afro American texts that speak to the themes of Hairytage. https://t.co/RIpg5LyZtz

12/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

students commenting on the texts to open the discussion. https://t.co/e7rAoWeKM4

10/10/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

So delighted Dr.Camilla Stanger is joining our Hairytage discussion this Saturday! Come down to 6pm-9pm for debates, live art making, mapping and chatting! https://t.co/1Dkz1mf6vz

04/10/18

Retweetd From Weekender

CHECK OUT OUR GUIDE - OPEN DAYS FOR TODAY INCLUDE: Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich, 9am – 10.30am St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School, Bermondsey, 10.45am https://t.co/UJ3jBOe64R

28/09/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Plans are coming together for ‘Hairytage’ with artist Alix Bizet and for lots of interesting workshops, debates performances, watch this space!! https://t.co/4XgFiksulA

28/09/18

Retweetd From Harris Experience

Fantastic to see our amazing Year 9 students at their induction into the Harris Experience programme - the future is looking bright! https://t.co/lUU8Tq1Uo4

28/09/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Know anyone who would be willing to share their stories/memories of Peckham with our students as part of our Hairytage live art event? Please get in touch! https://t.co/HQVgm5MDML

27/09/18

Retweetd From Miata Amy Noah

I’m so proud that I got a chance to do my bit for the . It is such an amazing opportunity to do something simple like get a swab test that could potentially save a life! I’m inspired by Sarah Thompson her story is amazing keep up the good work https://t.co/SYqal2ppTC

26/09/18

Retweetd From ACLT Charity

Registration donor drive loading... Huge thanks to Sarah who teaches at the school & is a previous patient ACLT supported. Sarah found her match, received her transplant & happily shares her story, to highlight the importance of joining the register. We ❤ her! https://t.co/LB7SlNmLjr

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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