By Margaret Burin
Primary school kids have been given hairdressing tools and tricks of the trade to unleash on anyone who is willing.
“I really hope someone says just go crazy, because I really wanna do a mohawk and put hairspray colour in it,” 12-year-old Mahrosh said.
Along with her fellow classmates, the Richmond West Primary School student is receiving a crash course in hair styling.
While it is not what she wants to pursue as a career, she has been enjoying the experience.
“I want to be a football player, but I think it’s fun to experience it,” she said.
Just a few days later she is getting ready for her first client at a trendy hairdressing salon on Chapel Street.
Razor Dolls is usually buzzing, but on this day it is extra busy, and the staff wielding the scissors and clippers are a little tinier than normal.
Haircuts By Children — which is part of Melbourne Festival — is an international project about imagination, empowerment and trust.
After being trained in hairdressing, the performance itself is the unlikely transaction between an adult and a child.
The concept, devised by Canadian company Mammalian Diving Reflex, aims to bring together adults and children from different socio-economic, cultural and racial backgrounds.
Producer Eva Verity said the haircut itself is less interesting than the intimate encounters.
“I think we have a lot of preconceived notions about the capabilities of young people and I think there’s a lot more room there to get their feedback,” she said.
“There’s a certain element of risk for people who come…
“People have different levels of vanity and preciousness about their hair, and identity is a big thing so trusting a young person to cut your hair and have a sharp object near your face, it’s kind of a big deal.”
And that trust was not lost on Mahrosh.
“It felt great,” she said.
“I think all the adults that come here today are very brave because I would not trust a kid to cut my hair.”
The next Haircuts By Children session is on at Fur Hairdressing in Melbourne from October 22-23.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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