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Dahlia Maubane



Type of book work: Editioned / printed work
Dimensions: 210 x 148
Media: paper and synthetic hair

Artist's / designer's statements

Amidst the buzz of Johannesburg CBD, one cannot miss the groups of women hairstylists each having their open-air mobile studio comprising of a chair and advertising boards depicting types of hairstyles they offer. Woza Sisi is a photo series exploring how women street hairstylists negotiate, navigate and shape the complex demarcated trading zone. It looks into ways in which the women position themselves; how they use and negotiate urban spaces.

This network forms a community of women sharing ideas, skills and helping each other when clients' hair needs to be completed urgently.

Visibility is important for the hairstylists; they have to call potential clients in a persuasive way - woza sisi, woza uzobona, woza nice. They are, also, expected to be patient, polite and understanding. It is important for the hairstylists to have satisfied clients and be able to produce value at a minimal cost. Building relationships is fundamental to growing their clientele. Business is normally scarce as the hairstylists are often locked in a tight competition for customers.

Woza Sisi aims to uncover a group of women street hairstylists' urban experience and explore their relationship with the city of Johannesburg and the economy.



2010 Intermediate Photography, Market Photo Workshop, South Africa
2009 BTech Multimedia, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


2012 Photographer in Residence - Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Austria


2016 Group exhibition - Mumford & Sons Johannesburg Pop-Up Exhibition, Okay Space, New York
2015 "Woza Sisi" Public Presentation and exhibition at THINK!FEST - Presented by Rhodes University's AUETSA's Conference during National Arts Festival Grahamstown, South Africa
2014 "Woza Sisi open-air exhibition, Kerk Street Market, Joburg Photo Umbrella, South Africa
2014 Participant in the inaugural Kampala Art Biennale
2013 Group Exhibition - My Joburg: Short Change, La Maison Rouge, Paris
2012 Group Exhibition - Tracing Territories, The Photo Workshop Gallery, South Africa


2016 Okayafrica Okay Space, New York

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