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Entwined Roots, Unbroken Spirits

Photographer Laila Cohen and journalist Phaedra Haringsma looked for stories about frizzy hair in this joint project. In Suriname, her mother's native country, Phaedra photographed the descendants of Ma Pansa, an enslaved woman who fled the plantation and survived in the forest by braiding rice seeds in her hair.

Free entrance

Entwined Roots, Unbroken Spirits

Dates
Sun 23 Jun14:00 - 20:00
Thu 27 Jun18:00 - 00:00
Fri 28 Jun18:00 - 00:00
More dates
Location
Plein Theater
Sajetplein 39
1091 DB Amsterdam
Show in Google Maps

Centuries of tradition

Photographer Laila Cohen and journalist Phaedra Haringsma looked for stories about frizzy hair in this joint project. Phaedra wrote a personal essay for De Correspondent explaining how she learned to cherish her afro. In the essay, she reflects on themes such as internalized racism, femininity and Western beauty ideals. Laila photographed Phaedra and her nephew Fidall while their hair was being braided.

These braids – now often extended with synthetic hair – are part of a centuries-long tradition. In Suriname, her mother's native country, Phaedra photographed the descendants of Ma Pansa, an enslaved woman who fled from the plantation and survived in the forest by braiding rice seeds in her hair. Only when there was enough rice to share with others did Ma Pansa harvest the rice, feeding an entire community of free black people.

Ma Pansa

The story of Ma Pansa is part of the oral history of the Saamaka, descendants of those who escaped from the Surinamese plantations. They freed others from the plantations and waged wars against the Dutch colonial regime. They claimed their freedom as early as 1762, and for a long time, they escaped the capitalist system, built on slavery and exploitation.

Dates and times

Sunday 23 June14:00 - 20:00
Thursday 27 June18:00 - 00:00
Friday 28 June18:00 - 00:00
Free entrance

Entwined Roots, Unbroken Spirits

Dates
Sun 23 Jun14:00 - 20:00
Thu 27 Jun18:00 - 00:00
Fri 28 Jun18:00 - 00:00
More dates
Location
Plein Theater
Sajetplein 39
1091 DB Amsterdam
Show in Google Maps