Arts & Culture

Beauty: It’s a Shady Business

6:15 pm - 7:45 pm | 14 September 2019
Queen Elizabeth Hall | £15 - £25

Join us for a close-up discussion on beauty featuring author Candice Carty-Williams and singer-songwriter Nao, chaired by radio presenter Clara Amfo.

‘She did what girls generally do when they don’t feel the part: she dressed it instead,’ said Zadie Smith in her 2005 novel, On Beauty.

In a time of an expanding palette of make-up shades and black-owned beauty brands, what do the highlights and contours of our faces say about those of our being? How do we navigate skin bleaching, fetishisation and colourism?

From the full coverage-flawless to the natural and near-naked: what does it mean to put your best face forward?

Starting her radio carer at KISS FM and BBC Radio 1XTRA, Clara Amfo is best known for her 10am – 1pm BBC Radio 1 show. Its world famous Live Lounge slot has seen her interview the world’s most prolific artists, including

Jay-ZAriana GrandeKendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams. A keen writer, Clara is also a contributing editor to Elle UK.

A lover of film and TV, Clara has also provided coverage for The Brit AwardsBAFTAGlastonbury and Top of the Pops, as well as hosting the premieres for Baby Driver, Aladdin, Black Panther and Disney’s recent remake of The Lion King.

“Being “camera ready” is a regular requirement in my job and over the years I’ve developed a real curiosity with the beauty industry and its attitude towards black women, what we want and what’s actually made available to us. All the women on this panel have a connection to the beauty industry both personally and professionally, so I’m really looking forward to this conversation” – CLARA AMFO

Born Neo Jessica Joshua, Nao, the youngest of five in a Jamaican household, moved with her family from Nottingham to South Woodford, bordering London and Essex. Living on the cusp of the capital in the early 2000s allowed her to explore the garage, grime and two-step from nearby Tower Hamlets and Hackney, however she ‘was always drawn towards turning left (towards London) rather than right,’ Nao recalls.

Nao is currently a singer-songwriter and record producer with a combined sound of electronic music, funk and R&B, leading her to coin her own style as ‘wonky funk’.

Candice Carty-Williams is an author and the Sunday Times bestselling author of Queenie – a book described as ‘disarmingly honest’, ‘boldly political’, and ‘truly Inclusive’. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing. As a journalist she has written for BEAT MagazineBlack BalladRefinery 29Guardiani-DVogue International, Sunday Times Style and more.

This event is part of Africa Utopia, and presented in association with Indaba X.

Purchase your tickets from The Southbank Centre

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