From prosaic banter about the local weather, politics and sports, to personal revelations shared with the confidence that only comes from the longstanding pact of silence between men, barbershops across the world (like salons for women) have always been hubs of conversation. Second only to the local bar, the barbershop is one of the adult man's favourite retreats, offering him some sort of reprieve from work and domestic life.
Nigerian photographer Andrew Eseibo's photos of barbershops in Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal reveal some of the things these intimate spaces have in common: religious imagery and posters of football stars, African-American artistes and icons of global black culture. But more important than the tangibles is the mingling that goes on between customers and barbers regardless of social status. Describing his observations to The New York Times
, Eseibo said,“The barbershop is an intimate space where people come to discuss what they cannot speak about in their homes or in public, including politics and even their lovers.” According to him, “It’s one of the few spaces where people from different walks of life, from different classes, mix.”
What's your local barbershop like?
Photo credits: Andrew Eseibo