In Professor Glenna Gordon’s International Photojournalism course, students learn to engage with the language of visuals and to think critically about photographs and representations. After looking at both traditional photojournalism methods and new forms of image making, students can choose to create a hands-on photo project in a diaspora community in New York.
The neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn, is home to many members of the West Indies community in New York City. Caribbean cultural influences can be felt on every corner. For this photo series, I spent time out on the streets of Flatbush and inside its hair salons, beauty parlors and barber shops to document the way in which hair is closely connected to personal identity in this culture. From braiding styles and dreadlocks to wigs and vibrant hair colors, the possibilities are endless. As such, the hair salons of Flatbush serve as a space in which men and women continually reinvent themselves – an intimate process that is shared between client and hairdresser.
This photo essay is part of a larger and ongoing body of work that explores the ways in which individuals within the diverse neighborhoods of New York City create and maintain their cultural identity. To see more of my work, find me on Instagram @simone_eringfeld or go to my website www.simoneeringfeld.com.