Neema Mwande

Crowned

We watered ourselves with self love, cleansed ourselves with understanding, rebuilt our broken self esteem through the repairing of damaged hair. We shed the burden of cruel comments, let go of internalised hate, released ourselves from an intergenerational curse that dulled the shine of our crown. Nevertheless we survive with elegance and beauty to teach our siblings and children to love their hair, we dedicate the roots we set down and the growth we have made to the next genre ration of little black girls born to a world that does not teach them they are beautiful. We have founded community and learnt to bloom and wear our crown with pride. 

This video is captioned and there is a description below it

Description:

Title of the work “crowned” appears on a black out screen. The camera cuts to a shot of typical black hair care products on a dressing table. At the same time the poem “Our hair our Crown” by Marina Rose starts. 

 

The shot then shows the image of a hand running through braided hair  close up then returns to a shot of the dressing table, and hands undoing the lid of a hair product. 

The film then briefly shows some flowers against a blue sky. The next shot is a dancer spraying water into her curly Afro hair and returns to a shot of the dressing table again which shows the range of products used in amongst plants. The camera then shows a womxn sat on her garden with her Afro, enjoying the peace of outside. The camera returns once again to the dressing table showing briefly a pair of hands pouring hair oil out and cuts back to the dancer disentangling her hair in her bedroom followed by a shot of yellow flowers. A womxn stands with her Afro highlighted against a blue sky, and switches to a panning shot of a sunset. This then switches to a closeup shot of a womxn brushing her short hair with a brush. 

 

At this point music gradually starts to become audible behind the poem and the camera cuts to a womxn with dreads relaxing, laid on the floor with house plants sat next to her. Then the camera cuts to some orange and red flowers, then returns again to the panning view of the sunset.

 

As the music gets louder the camera shows the dancer again in her bedroom with laying the edges of her hair down with a denman brush and flicks one side of her hair behind her shoulder. The camera again shows a different set of orange flowers against a blue sky. The camera then shows a die profile of the dancer against a blue and cloudy sky with arms extended towards the sunlight (right side) and braided hair in three Mohawk buns.  The final words from Marina Rose are spoken and the accompanying music takes over audibly. 

 

The dancer is stood in a field slightly off centre in the distance with her back to the audience. Her hands rise up slowly behind her back and push her hair over her head. Her hands then rotate and extend above her head.

 

The shot switches then to the dancer amongst trees in the forest with her hair in a low ponytail. Her arms rotate around her head and body and rotate around her body, before the shot switches. 

 

This then changes to the dancer against the blue sky again arms outstretched. She then shifts from side to side in an African influenced groove accentuating the shoulder movements and raising her arms into a body roll. 

 

The shot changes again to the dancer in the field this time slightly closer to the camera. She extends her arms above her head then pushes her hair and head around to face the sunlight. She then throws her head over and the film speeds up. In fast motion the dancer roared her body and drops back to rise upwards. 

 

The film again then switches to the dancer against the blue sky, this time however she has box braids that appear to be controlling her movement, as her body follows the movement of the braids.

 

The dancer again is then shown in the field stood facing the left side with her arms extended backwards. She drops her arms to pull them up past her body and above her head, then turns and rebounds back to face the direction of the sun. Her hands then extend forwards and rotate around each other and above her head.

 

We then return to the sequence of the dancer dancing with her braids contorting the movement. As the free braids swing around in motion they reform into the three Mohawk buns.

 

The film then cuts to the dancer on top of a hill with the sunset behind her, stood on one leg with arms distorted and stretched behind her. She’s drops towards the rights and twists arms around her head before dropping downwards. This is then rewinded back to the first position. 

 

The dancer is then shown dancing in the Forrest again. She is dancing with a free groove that rebound different parts of her body as she rotates away from the camera. The camera moves around her as he dances. She then stops and extends her leg upwards before dropping her body in the other direction, before rising and dropping her shoulder and body rhythmically downwards. 

 

We see again the dancer with three buns on top of her head against the blue sky. This time her groove is in fast motion briefly before rewinding as she turns to face the right. She then extends her arms forwards and body ripples down. Then stops and turns her head from left to right before extend upwards towards the sunlight and swings her head downwards towards the left corner. 

 

We return then to the dancer in the field to the left side of the shot moving in a round upwards to downwards motion and rebounding her body backwards with arms extended, then coming forwards with chest lifted towards the sunlight again. The film speeds up and the dancer runs her hands through her hair as she bows down towards the camera.

 

The film shows again the sunset shot of the dancer up on the hillside. The film becomes slower in motion as the dancer rebounds her hand in a fist towards the left side, her body following downwards then circling around to standing position. She then steps back and is facing the camera outlined by the light of the sunset.

 

Once more we see the shot of the cancer against the blue and clouded sky with braids free. She’s dancing in slow motion arms swinging around her head and body rolling downwards outside the right side of the shot before appearing again into shot. 

 

Marina Rose’s poem then continues as the shot returns to the dancer in the field. In slow motion shes swings her hair behind her. 

 

We then see a series of the shots of different black womxn with different types of black hair. 

 

The first is a womxn against the sky and tree with short curly hair. 

Then a womxn with braids watering her plants in her bedroom. 

We then see a womxn sat in her garden sipping on tea with her Afro free and natural. Following this is a womxn in her garden watering the plants with a watering can and she has a long braid down her back. 

We then see a womxn with braids staring straight into the camera.

We then see a feature of the poet, she is smiling at the camera and has short curly hair with a fringe.

Next we see a womxn in her bedroom with short hair watering her plants. 

Following this is a womxn with dreads, laying relaxed on the floor, plants in the back ground, smiling at the camera. Then there is a womxn stood up watering her hanging plants with a shaved head. Finally we see a womxn stood watering her garden grooving in her durag. 

 

The film fades to black and  the credits appears followed by the logos of involved organisations.

Clay: Centre for Live Art Yorkshire trading as Live Art Bistro Ltd
2020 CLAY, Regent Street, Leeds, LS27QA        hello@liveartleeds.com

  • Insta
  • Facebook
  • Twitter