Afro Art Photographers Work with HGAED Girls - Latest News - Harris Girls Academy
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16/08/18

Here's our selection of artsy days out in to enjoy during the rest of the school holidays... visit https://t.co/zlEyJ3PrTg for inspiration! They are virtually all FREE. Go on, try one this week... https://t.co/iMWVR8hmrr

20/07/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

So EXCITED to have received funding from for our project ‘Hairytage’ with artist Alix Bizet exploring the importance of Afro hair to the black community. Event to take place this October! Collaboration with 💥💥 https://t.co/AoAuy60t4S

19/07/18

Penny Challenge... read about our girls' plan to raise money for charity, 1p at a time. We didn't win the Dragons Den Award but we're really proud of our team for their great idea and skillful presentation. Thanks Dragons too! Full story https://t.co/7LjPkkjw5i https://t.co/41OWxRQOHS

19/07/18

Our girls have been learning about the Holocaust so meeting survivor Harry Olmer was extremely moving - bringing home the reality of what they have been studying. Thank you Harry and https://t.co/vtL7MoktbY

18/07/18

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The nation is getting 'snap happy' with the new Snapchat features! 👻 📸 This , we're highlighting the latest updates and associated risks on the platform. Download high res version here: https://t.co/BM6lI6Dxwn https://t.co/qscFpNKmeW

18/07/18

Our staff have really excelled themselves in our staff challenge. Don't you think?! https://t.co/oOVwyYFr6S

18/07/18

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Playing through creative explorations to think through ideas of identity with https://t.co/Tp1DabxUxY

12/07/18

Retweetd From Harriet Harman

My pleasure. So encouraged to hear determination of the girls & all credit to staff team (&parents of course!) https://t.co/MNn3iOjX3m

12/07/18

Good luck to all the competitors at the 2018 Sports Day today, and all the fantastic students supporting them! https://t.co/jjHCJOKwNY

12/07/18

Thank you to for coming to talk to our girls yesterday and encouraging a new generation of women to get involved in politics and fight for .

12/07/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Check this out! Looks amazing! https://t.co/KrzlC9Gm0q

02/07/18

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Some behind the scenes footage of the creation of the banner with . <3 https://t.co/nPqWCw2tbB

22/06/18

Calling parents of children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities. Take part in an Ofsted webinar today (Fri 22 June) 10am to give your views on local services. To take part visit https://t.co/rnPzN2yIpz. More details https://t.co/OWLSuA8vKH

22/06/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Material discussions and suspensions of disbelief https://t.co/NfmNNYSQtF

21/06/18

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Excited for our workshop ‘Material Matterings: Suspensions of Disbelief, with our participants have arrived! Let’s get nattering through mattering https://t.co/GutciYrH2x

20/06/18

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Achieve a in Advanced upto £300 bursary + enhance your when you attend our 4 weeks summer 2018 programme If you're aged 16-21 live, study or attend a group in and interested then visit https://t.co/UkJWR86m59 https://t.co/06K5QObJfN

18/06/18

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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

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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