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Chavosos by Hick Duarte

The Urban Theatre Blog isn't just about championing the amazing work that goes on in the city of London on stage. There are other pretty amazing art works and theatrical experiences that can be had if you just look a little closer.

Never did I think I would be writing about getting a trim with such excitement. The Barbershop up the road is always a window I look into, to see some regular faces, faces that don't know that I probably know them. What have they got on the TV this time? What shapes will they be creating today?

Of course! The art of barbering. ART. It takes skill, creativity, often collaboration and design visionary to create some of the styles that I have witnessed just walking towards Camden. But CUT Festival will shine a light on this art form in a way it has never been shone before.

This spring, East London sees an innovative new festival taking place at local barbershops and arts spaces Toynbee Studios and the Archive Gallery in Haggerston. The inaugural CUT Festival 2017 runs from February 24 to March 5 2017, exploring the art of barbering via an exciting programme of events, performances and exhibitions.

Barbering dates back centuries, the barbershop uniting communities as well as historically healing the sick and distinguishing identities. Inspired by barbering past and present, CUT Festival 2017 brings together international artists and activists, exhibiting and working alongside barbers both traditional and otherwise.

Contributors include:

  • · Photographer Hick Duarte from Brazil. Duarte’s razor-sharp images of freshly barbered youths have captivated both art and fashion worlds prompting editorial coverage and advertising campaigns.

  • · Brandon Tauszik from the USA exhibits intimate GIF portraits of Oakland’s African-American barbers. Also from America.

  • · Mark Bustos combines high end grooming with philanthropy, working directly with communities affected by homelessness. Mark will be working with Crisis in London as part of CUT Festival.

  • · Cary Kwok, originally from Hong Kong now resident in London shows his signature drawings alongside film from UK artist Oreet Ashery.

  • · Photographs from Paula Harrowing shot in Kolkota, India, documenting male cleansing rituals. Paula will also photograph a selection of local barbershops as part of the festival.

Alongside the main programme, the festival will also commission 5 new artists from the UK to be exhibited in specific barbershops across East London through the Next in Line section of the programme. Funded by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Blank Billboard CIC, this initiative promotes direct collaboration between artists and barbershops, allowing interaction with local passers-by and East London communities.

2017 is set to be inclusive, reflecting evolving communities whilst acknowledging the skills and respect that both traditional and non-traditional barbering commands the world over.

VENUE: Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial St, London E1 6AB

Twitter @CUT_Festival




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