Watch the video here or read the statement below:
Diva Dutch has 3 versions: single, double, and rhyming. Each one requires a black woman to design her own “diva” outfit and ask a local black hairdresser to braid a spectacular 15 foot long cornrow. This braid is then used as a jump rope. In the single version, women invite passersby to jump into the rope with them. In the double version, two black women are connected to each other by their braids to form a living double dutch rope, which passersby are invited to jump into.
By making the braids and “diva” outfits, each woman creates:
- a living metaphor for the way hair braiding connects black women across generations, across the country, and around the globe
- a vibrant, engaging documentary of black women’s changing definitions of beauty
The Diva Dutch scores have been performed at:
- the Museum Of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
- the Brooklyn Museum
- Houston’s Project Row Houses
- Tennessee State University’s Hiram Van Gordon Gallery
- and historically black neighborhoods ranging from Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), to Brixton (London) to Barbès–Rochechouart (Paris)
The Diva Dutch scores are part of a larger body of work entitled Artifacts from Soulville, which centers around the rituals and artifacts of an imaginary black enclave, Soulville. Through the exploration of objects and rituals from the imaginary Soulville, aishacousins.com engages viewers in examining various aspects of the psycho-social-cultural fabric that connects contemporary black Americans.