For over half a decade, the Dazed 100 has spotlighted the creative vanguard; the people leading change in their communities and chosen fields. This year was a list with a twist, curated with help from Dazed 100ers of years gone by, it runs as part of Open to Change. An expansive educational initiative from Dazed and Converse, Open to Change works to increase diversity and create tangible opportunities in the creative industries.
All 100 creatives on the list were asked the question: “How will you shape the future?” From a trans-inclusive swimwear line by model sisters Maddie and Margo Whitley, to Ivan Michael Blackstock’s Pop Up Art School, to Flock Together’s bird watching academy for underprivileged children and more, every creative on the list brought their radical vision for the future of their industry.
Afro-Brazilian artist and hair stylist Janice Mascarenhas creates thought-provoking and visually striking styles out of Black hair – braids spelling out words, dreadlocks made into sculptures, and hairstyles laced with flowers, miniature figures and clay masks. Born in a favela outside Rio, Janice grew up around beauty salons. “I watched my mother (a manicurist) and her co-workers rebuild people’s self-esteem with their hands and I fell in love with that space,” they say.
With the Converse x Dazed100 fund, Janice will create an art film exploring the ancestry of Black hair through a Brazilian perspective, fusing futurism and tradition through the language of beauty. Janice spent six years studying Black hair within the context of Candomblé – an African diasporic religion that developed in Brazil in the 19th century. In the film, a robot they have built using clay, hair, and reused fabric will tell the story of how braids arrived in Brazil.
“I’m particularly interested in reaching an audience of young Black people around the world with the message that our African ancestral heritage is not just a thing of the past but of the future,” Janice says. “I want to show Brazilians (especially young Brazilians) that Black hair is a manifestation of resistance.”
To get to know Janice better, and follow her journey as she makes her idea a reality over the coming months, follow @dazed, @converse, and @converse_london for updates.