NEWS: Kickin’ It With The Kinks @ Northern Stage, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ever wondered about the cultural complexities of haircare? The answer is mostly likely going to be a strong no on that one. Perhaps that is because we so often hear about the impossible standards of beauty imposed upon women in society but we seldom hear about the pressure it puts on women of African descent.

Cynthia Butare’s self-funded documentary Kickin’ It With The Kinks does just that. It started off as her final university project but, after winning her a prize for best documentary in the department, she decided to produce an extended version with her close friend Mundia Situmbeko, co-owner of Blackgirlflow, to raise awareness of how prescribed ideas of beauty create issues with identity and social interaction for women with afro-textured hair.

For many the transition from “going natural” to chemically “relaxed” hair can be a difficult and controversial one. Women go to great lengths, which means a lot of time and money, trying to achieve the silky smooth, long locks of celebrities and models. With big names like Beyoncé predominantly favouring the relaxed look and even sporting long blonde locks in her time, it’s no wonder the market for specialist hair products and extensions is booming. Kickin’ It With The Kinks reveals the dangers of chemical products whilst also exploring the social norms which challenge individual identity.

Kickin’ It With The Kinks screens at Northern Stage, Newcastle on Thursday 16th April.

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