Armed with only her hair, some wire and thread, Ivory-Coast based artist and designer, Laetitia Ky has created some of the most awe-inspiring art that make serious political statements. Some of her hair sculptures, however, are created just because they are pretty or fun. For whatever reasons she creates these sculptures, one thing remains constant, Laetitia Ky is a very talented woman who is inspiring other women all over the world.
For someone who didn’t very much like her hair until 2012, it is beautiful to see how evolved she is now on matters concerning her hair. She learned how to braid her mother and sisters hair at the age of 5 but never really appreciated her natural curls. After a particularly bad case of too-tight braids that cut her hair, she was looking for a way to grow her hair fast and stumbled on the natural hair community. Ky told Dazed Digital that when she was growing up in Ivory Coast, “the norm was to straighten your hair. So when I found the natural movement, I was fascinated. That’s when my hair became important to me.”
Despite randomly stumbling on hair art while scrolling through Instagram in 2017, Laetitia has gone on to use it to speak up against various societal issues. The 23-year-old uses her hair to advocate for gender equality, gun violence, body positivity and to create beautiful art. When she first started making sculptures with her hair, it was just to show how creative she was but that has now changed. “At the beginning, it was only for fun and to show my creativity, but with time it changed,” Ky says, “I saw the impact it can have on people so now it’s more serious, more engaged. I do it to send messages of self-love, tolerance, equality and respect. I do it to try to ameliorate the world I live in.”
Over the years, her sculptures have become more of her way to touch more people. As 2019 was coming to an end, she lent her voice to issues around domestic violence with a sculpture of a man about to hit a smaller-sized woman. In June 2019, disgusted by all the anti-abortion laws being created, she did a sculpture of a uterus flipping the bird. Ky who is a proud feminist is concerned about issues that affect women. She told Dazed Digital, “As a feminist, everything related to women’s issues, including violence done to women, is something that greatly touches me. I don’t think that one needs to be a feminist in order for this kind of thing to affect us. To be human is enough.”
With over 240,000 followers on Instagram, Laetitia Ky realises that she has a voice and is committed to using it to effect change. She told Elle magazine, “Thousands of people can say the same thing without it having the same impact. What makes the difference is the way you say it. Art makes it possible to reach more people because it finds an original, particular way to speak about the subject so that many people will linger.”
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