Student Medina Mukhayer explains how the initial event came to be: “We were given a brief by the Wellcome Trust to create alternative narratives around mental health and to reach out to demographics that are least likely to engage with medical institutions in regard to their well being. In discovering that Afro-Caribbean barbers had taken on the role of unofficial counsellors in their communities, due to social political histories, we wanted to accredit and utilise the organic power by these spaces.
Starting out as a project for a BA Design brief, group of second year students have set up a friendly football tournament for barber shops in the local community. After a successful founding match, the Barbershop Football Tournament will continue this autumn with a focus on young players 15-21. A 7 team event will be hosted by Deptford Green School on 15 September; find out more from the event flyer.
We set up the Barbershop football tournament as a means of strengthening support systems within the social networks that are held within each shop, inviting a couple of different shops to create a positive unifying effect in wider communities and open up a dialogue about mental health.”