Each year the hair of thousands of women in India and China is cut off for just a few dollars. Once collected, cut, cleaned and sorted, the hair is exported for different end uses. Short bad quality hair is used for jackets linings, cosmetic brushes food and medicine, but the bulk of the trade is for wig and hairpiece making. Tonnes of waist-length hair make its way from vast warehouses to lucrative auctions and processing factories, eventually arriving in Britain, America and France, where it will adorn the heads of Western women. The demand for hair extensions and cosmetic products means that turning poverty and faith into fashion has became a new market, earning major companies revenues of more that $300 million last year alone. I have been considering for a while as a potential project the creation of a series of images about the whole process in London, from the basic shops in Brixton that sell the product to the fashionable salons in Chelsea that work with models and wealthy clients. So far getting access to the places where human hair is stored and sold has been difficult and frustrating, but most probably I will be able to attend in the next few days the preparation and shooting of a series of different hair styles as part of the competition for the British Hairdressing Awards 2008.
I was born in a small university town called Salamanca in the middle of Spain in 1968. It was almost unavoidable for me to study a Degree in Literature and Linguistics in my hometown and then I started travelling and working as a lecturer through the years until I landed in London and somehow my life changed.
For the last eight years I have been working at Cervantes Institute, a public institution from the Spanish Government that was founded in 1991 to promote Spanish language teaching and culture of Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world.
After having completed an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries at King's College London in 2005, my professional ambitions and interests started to shift. I undertook different projects of academic research about the Tourism Industry and then I went off travelling again to see everything I was reading about through the lens of my camera.
Since my last return to London, I have been teaching and helping to organize different exhibitions, conferences and Film festivals at Cervantes Institute in London.