Ketting met walrustand die is vastgemaakt met gedoneerde vlechten. Het laten groeien van je haar om vervolgens te kunnen schenken werd in deze gemeenschap gezien als een toegewijde daad. 19e eeuw, Hawaï, mensenhaar, ivoor, plantenvezel, getwijnd
Press release:

New exposition: Hair Power | opening 9 July 2022 at Wereldmuseum Rotterdam 

Just hair?

Hair. An incredibly powerful material. Because it is both fragile and super strong, and because it feels so intimate. Growing from our skin, our hair is part of us. Even so, it often seems to lead a life of its own: it may not behave the way we want it to, it triggers other people’s reactions, and it retains a special power even when it is no longer part of us. With Hair Power, Wereldmuseum Rotterdam celebrates the power and symbolic attributes of hair. The exhibition opens on 9 July 2022.

In Hair Power, stories of people and their hair are brought forward with contemporary and historical objects, art, design, and film. The exhibition also features unique contributions from various artists. Hairstyles, decorations, wigs, and hair extensions are forms of communication with numerous underlying messages. Through our hair, we communicate our political ideals or beauty standards. We use it to express ourselves. Our hair may even empower us!

More than a hairstyle

Personal and valuable objects show that hair retains a unique power and intimacy even separate from our bodies, precisely because it once was part of us. A lock of a loved one’s hair in a piece of jewellery, for instance, or a necklace made of braids donated by several women.

Hair for a better world

The exhibition starts from the personal and moves on to the influence that our society has on the choices we make as individuals. Which also applies to our hair. In addition, Hair Power shows the many ways people are using their hair to bring about change and a better world. For example, when a hairstyle becomes a symbol for political ideals and a social movement, or because hair as a residual material can contribute to a more sustainable world. As a sponge in the event of an oil spill, for instance.

Hair Power, 9 July 2022 to 8 May 2023 - Wereldmuseum Rotterdam


note to the editors, not for publication:

If you have any questions, please contact: Rachel Voorbij, press officer with NMVW and Wereldmuseum, at or +31 (0)6 30 25 41 43.