Third Year Projects

Ammar Bowaihl Barbershops

My project documents barbershops and their effect on the community in a western context. Barbershops are crucial social spaces of our communities. Their role in our neighbourhoods goes beyond providing a service. As we age, the relationship between the barbershop and its community members only grows stronger. Even if you’re getting a haircut for the first time, it feels like it’s only the beginning of a new relationship. Over time, getting a haircut becomes more meaningful and a pleasant experience everyone looks forward to. There were many special moments when I witnessed the magic that barbershops can extend far beyond just getting a haircut. As a child growing up in Saudi Arabia, the barbershop was the first place I overheard a political discussion, talk of marital conflict and passionate people cussing about a soccer game. Since my childhood, the barbershop has been a training ground for me to learn how and when to speak. It’s a vital part of male maturity and manhood. I believe the love and compassion in these places are universal and apply everywhere in the world.