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Cut Festival is taking over barber shops in east London this weekend

Tristan Parker

You know what barber shops are missing these days? Leeches. Oh, and ‘bloodletting’, a practice from the days when barbers dabbled with surgery. There’s more to barbering than follicles, as you’ll find out at Cut Festival.

With performance, art, film and discussion, the ten-day event celebrates barbering culture from around the world. The action will be in – yep – barber shops and galleries across east London, exploring ideas of race, gender, history and health (remember those leeches?).

Highlights include an audio work inspired by the sounds of barbers, haircuts for the homeless and a performance in Stoke Newington’s Rocket Barber Shop that takes a stomach-turning look at bloodletting. If you like, you can get an actual haircut. There’s a collaborative show, ‘The Art of Barbering’, featuring photos, video and drawings presenting a global view of the noble profession – which isn’t done just for or by men, by the way, as you’ll see. Even if you don’t need a trim, this will be hair-raising.

Fri Feb 24-Mar 5. Find out more about Cut Festival.

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