As an online streaming platform, Studio Anansi Tv continues to release compelling stories from the Caribbean that thematically explore topics with universal appeal. Their latest release, Sorf Hair, by Trinidad & Tobago filmmaker Shari Petti, explores the derogatory underpinnings of the natural hair experience in Trinidad & Tobago, a topic of contention expressed worldwide.

Following people from all walks of life and with different hair textures, the film reveals personal stories of discrimination and challenges in a country where “finer” and straighter hair textures are considered more appealing. Such discrimination is deeply rooted in the dark past of once colonized countries as Trinidad and Tobago. Kinky/curly hair textures have not only been the butt of every negative hair joke, but also a tool used to divide and conquer among varying subjugated groups for centuries. In our modern day, issues from discrimination to lost opportunities, continue to take a toll on “naturals” globally.

However, despite the challenges and negative public perception, progress is being made through a global natural hair movement where women are accepting and celebrating their natural hair textures unapologetically. Such strength in numbers is changing the tide to a positive perspective, resulting in greater cultural representation of kinky/curly-haired people in entertainment (film roles, commercials, TV, etc.), and in some countries as the United States, laws are being passed against discrimination in the workplace.

Sorf Hair has been screened at several film festivals, including the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival in Canada, The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, the Barbados Independent Film Festival and is carded to screen at the Nouveaux Regards Film Festival in Guadeloupe and the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Watch SORF HAIR now:


Photographed by Kibwe Brathwaite

About Shari:

Shari Petti is a 22yr old Film student at the University of the West Indies Trinidad. She has worked as an actress, production assistant and camera assistant on numerous film productions in her country. She directs, shoots and edits the Youtube Docu-series “Small Lime” which features young Caribbean natives as they explore social issues affecting their society. Her film Sorf Hair, which explores the natural hair experience in Trinidad and Tobago, has screened at several film festivals including the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival in Canada, The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, the Barbados Independent Film Festival and is carded to screen at the Nouveaux Regards Film Festival in Guadeloupe and the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.