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See Pelumi Obanure’s “àde”: a photo series on hairstyles and identity.

Pelumi Obanure is a Nigerian photographer and quite frankly one of the most interesting I’ve met. Most of his work features solo subjects posed against different backgrounds ranging from plain backdrops to open fields and foliage. In every image, he manages to capture and present the subject’s natural fluidity and interaction with the environment while evoking thoughts of solitude.

In his new project “àde”, inspired by the work of foremost Nigerian Photographer J.D Ojeikere, Pelumi showcases the identity, creativity and meticulousness of Nigerian women expressed in intricately woven hairstyles.

On how he was inspired by Ojeikere to create this series, Pelumi states that

“ Ojeikere’s distinct style of photographing the back of his subjects’ heads was what really drew me to his work. His photographs carry so much emotion without the use of facial features. ”

In contemporary times, especially in the Western world, the African hair and hairstyles have seen discrimination and Pelumi wishes to remove this narrative by portraying African hair as the work of art and beauty that it inherently is. He also wants to preserve these styles in pictures for posterity.

“ I was really drawn to the incredible shapes and beauty of the hairstyles worn by Nigerian women in the 1960’s. I believe these hairstyles should not be lost time or modernization, it’s a part of our culture. “

See Full Photo Series here

Fifo Adebakin
Fifo Adebakin

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