Interview: Sofie Founder of Afrotalk
When the Swedish Facebook Afrotalk was created earlier this year I was overjoyed! For the longest time I've struggled to connect with other naturalistas in Sweden and have longed for a natural hair community here, so finally! And reading the comments in the group it was clear very early on that I wasn't the only was that felt that way. I was lucky enough to talk a bit to Sofie, the founder of the group, at the Sthlm Loves Curls event. She is a sweetheart, and was sweet enough to answer some questions for the blog.
Who are you?
Who are you?
Haha.. this question is so tricky to answer when your not sure yourself! Well, I'm a Stockholm based, 16 year old student with an obsession with everything that has to do with afro textured hair. The natural community is so refreshing to me because our kinky/curly hair is excluded and ignored everywhere else in our society. So I guess it's like I've finally found an including home filled with solidarity (and... shea butter haha)
Why did you start Afrotalk?
For the past year I've though about starting a platform on the WWW for people with curly/kinky hair based in Sweden, such platforms in Sweden or Scandinavia for that matter, are unfortunately nearly nonexistent. Many of us have no idea of how to handle, love and rock our hair textures. So for about 2 months ago, I decided to finally start the Facebook group Afrotalk (yay)! I can't even describe how much fun it's been! The members are super respectful towards each and other and most of all... EMPOWERING! I completely love the groups atmosphere and solidarity.
The group is already pretty big and people are active, did you expect this when you started the group?
Actually I had no clue, at first I only invited my friends and family, they began to invite their friends etc so in the first 24 hours, the numbers of group members increased extremely fast. Damn, It really was a huge shock when I logged into Facebook the next day!
Why is natural hair important to you?
For people with kinky/curly hair, I believe hair is a such a tremendous part of who you are. It has to do with our society and the norms and history that comes with it. The hair that grows out of our heads have been ridiculed, looked down at for centuries in this world with white supremacy and a racial hierarchy.
We've learned to hate the texture of are hair, cherish the fine, straight, western hair, as long as other western beauty standards. Our hair has been ignored and been through so much shit, for far too long, to the point that my own mother persists to relax her hair because, I quote, she doesn't wan't to look like a "slave". The natural hair movement, in my case, has therefore been about self love, acceptance and feeling pride in my big, kinky hair against all odds. It's such a liberating feeling to finally love the big hair that grows out of your head.
My final message to ya'll is: Never stop rocking them kinks, coils, weaves, wigs, braids, straightened hair, twists, loc's (the list goes on fo' evah, haha)!
Connect with Sofie here:
Thank you Sofie for answering the questions, but most of all starting the group! Amazing!!
Don't forget to join the Afrotalk Facebook group is you speak/understand Swedish and stay connected!