Arts + Culture

NextGen: Judie Mozie's Journey As an Emerging Artist Is an Example of Fearless Individuality

For Nigerian visual artist and director Judie Mozie, she wants to encourage Africans to embrace and celebrate all facets of their identities.

DIASPORAOver the course of July we'll be publishing short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures." Together these stories will be a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it. 


Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here.

Throughout this month, we'll also highlight and celebrate young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in our daily profile series, 'NextGen.'

In our seventh edition, we catch up with Nigerian artist and director, Judie Mozie. 

With little representation of black people in fine art, Judie Mozie is aligning her own path and shaping a new narrative for African artists. Mozie is a Nigerian visual artist and director currently living in Los Angeles, California. Although she's a contemporary artist focused on creating her own lane, she has also worked with major companies like Complex, The Shade Room and Jason of Beverly Hills. Mozie has also been apart of art exhibitions in LA and even personalized clothing pieces for artists like Wizkid.

Photo courtesy of Judie Mozie.

Mozie has always been captivated by the diverse and unique varieties of the human experience and was raised to celebrate diversity with all of its infinite facets. Her art takes inspiration from a number of disciplines and is highly influenced by her Nigerian heritage. Originally disciplined in film directing, Judie uses her visual senses as a way to elevate her message. She curates the platform Cosmic Shades of Brown that features all her artwork and allows people to interact with the African artists that have inspired her along the way. She believes that it is the story of the artist that truly energizes their work.

"To me it is a way for black people to redefine their history, their present, and future," she says when speak on Afrofuturism. "It is a way for people of African descent to envision the future based off of their experiences and history.”

Photo courtesy of Judie Mozie.

She continued with the role she wants to play in the movement adding, “I want to help shape the narratives of African people by living my truth as openly and boldly as possible. I feel like it's important to show that there are so many ways to be African and that the only person, who can define you as a person, is yourself. I want to help remove the fear of individuality and encourage Africans to embrace and celebrate all facets of their identities.”

Mozie is currently working on her first solo exhibition opening August 6, 2017 that captures themes of family, strength, inner peace, and love.

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Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

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