September 4, 2012
This hand-painted sign from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) is an advertisement for a barbershop. In the DRC, barber shops are an important forum not only for aesthetics, but also for socialization. Some urban areas have up to 1,000 barbershops. For displaced peoples inside the DRC, impromptu barbershops provide a sense of normalcy and an arena to express one’s individuality. In recent years, however, barbershops have become sites of contention between rival political parties.