KINGDOM OF COCKROACHES
Jen Winters of Phoney Pony describes a post-apocalyptic landscape where cockroaches with pompadours rule and hairstyles define your status
“In 3020 the sun will be on its way out. We will be in a wasteland, but it won’t be brutal and bleak – nature will have taken over. It will be like those atmospheric abandoned theme park where plants and trees grow everywhere uncontrollably.
The upper classes will be living high above the trees in huts and the lower classes will be on the ground. Hairstyles will show your status. The upper class will have gorgeous hair and poorer people will have shaved their heads, due to practical reasons like lessening their chance of getting lice and to keep it out of the way when they hunt. Wealthier classes will weave precious metals into their hair, they’ll have dreads adorned with gold and diamonds. I’m imagining it will be similar to the film A Million Ways to Die in the West. There’s a scene where a guy walks into a barbers and asks for a moustache and the barber says, ‘You can’t afford that moustache’.
“NO ONE WILL TRUST A ROBOT TO DO THEIR HAIR, BECAUSE THEY CAN BE PROGRAMMED TO ASSASSINATE YOU.”
For the lower and middle classes fashion will be practical. People will cover themselves in mud to protect their skin from UV (they’ll be no ozone layer left). They’re not punks though, it’s definitely not going to be like Mad Max with leather, studs and chains. That’s so impractical! Imagine going out to fix your truck and your chains getting caught on stuff all the time?! The world will be colder and we’ll be into clean living – more by necessity than anything. A good spud will be our staple diet. My family are Irish, so I know the power of a potato!
I think cockroaches with pompadours will be powerful because they can survive anything. They’ll need their hair doing too, so barbers will make a pact with them. I’m convinced that humans will make a treaty with the roaches – we just won’t be able to ignore the economic power of them. In terms of payment people will trade potatoes and food, rather than money or currency. Instead of donkeys, people will have a fleet of cockroaches, like fine race horses.
When it comes to socialising I think we’ll all still be meeting face to face. Post pandemic we’ll do everything we can to be safe, we’re a social species and we need to have contact. If we don’t connect in person or enrich ourselves culturally we fall apart. I can imagine there might be an underground barbering scene when we go through pandemics. It’ll be like 1920s prohibition all over again, you’ll walk through a shop to a secret backroom barbershop. It will still be humans cutting hair. Obviously no one will trust a robot to do their hair, because they can be programmed to assassinate you.”
A GENDER FLUID UTOPIA
Adedamola Bajomo, Tobi Adebajo and Greygory Vass of Open Barbers picture a world where gender plays less of a role in society
“Our vision combines advancements in technology with a deeper understanding of human existence. At Open Barbers we work with a community who have a sophisticated perspective on the importance, or non-importance, of their own gender to themselves and in relation to others. Many of us crave a world where gender carries less dominance and where human dignity and community care takes precedence over old school power, historic gendered entitlement, tradition as a form of social control and simple binary categorisation.
“IN 1000 YEARS WE HAVE FINALLY COME TO LEARN THAT HUMANS ARE WORTH MORE THAN THEIR PRODUCTIVITY.”
In a thousand years, the rules of who gate keeps another’s appearance will be broken down. We won’t have a ‘bouncer’ at the door keeping women, non-binary people and trans men out of barbershops, and there will be no scoffing at feminine trans women, nonbinary people and men. It will be considered ludicrous that we ever lived in a world where the entire world’s population was funnelled into two categories: ‘man’ / ‘woman’.
Hairdressing will be available from a global supply of hair designers and a menu of virtual visions. Designs will be selected, adapted and downloaded according to the wishes of clients themselves. The haircut will be made physical through delicate sculpting machinery that gently responds to the nuances and sensitivities of every individual head, and passes no judgement on the suitability of the haircut for the person’s race, class, gender, sexuality, shape, capabilities and size.
Dictating hairstyles will be a thing of the past – that one individual might have authority to dictate the appropriateness of someone else’s appearance will be outdated. We’ll have an understanding that no two humans are the same and no human can be injured in the delivery or in the receipt of a service. No more back pain, RSI, nicks and cuts or contact dermatitis. No more neck strain at basins, yanked scalps, hot tool scalds or rumbling bellies. With a shift away from capitalism designed to drive us through the pain for gain, in 1000 years we have finally come to learn that humans are worth more than their productivity.
To be human is to marvel at the unique value that we bring into this world. We will be working together as communities to survive and adapt, not pitching and bartering our labour but sharing and nurturing ourselves into states of collective comfort, contentment and peace. One thousand years from now we will be celebrating the 999th anniversary of the Festival of Global Barbering: Humanity Can Do Better.”
READY BARBER ONE
Myles Lewis presents a dystopian world where haircuts are created by 4D printers, pandemics are rife and augmented reality rules
“Welcome to post-apocalypse now! The world is over populated and the majority of its citizens are poor. There’s just one governing body in charge now – the Governing Body of the World (GBW). DollarCrypt is the global currency and all independent governments have collapsed due to largescale corruption. The GBW is all knowing and all powerful (at least it thinks it is).
Although there’s been a move to regulate barbering, it hasn’t been the saviour of the industry that people thought it would be. You get licensed by the Global Organisation Of Barbering (GOOB), but a license costs a third of a barber’s annual wage. So only the elite can afford to get a license, which makes barbering unfair and undemocratic.
“IN TERMS OF TRENDS PEOPLE ARE REALLY INTO 4D PRINTED HAIRCUTS AS THEY’VE GOT A STYLE GUARANTEE OF THREE YEARS. BUT ONLY THE RICH AND ELITE CAN AFFORD THEM.”
But there are an underground community of ‘slum barbers’ rising up and they’re doing seriously creative work. However if clients get a haircut on the black market they get fined. Citizens must have paperwork to prove their haircuts are legal. So a market for forged licenses has boomed. In terms of trends people are really into 4D printed haircuts as they’ve got a style guarantee of three years. But the practice is frowned upon, because only the wealthy can afford them.
The talent rising up through the slums are resourceful. You can book with them using an encrypted app that you access through the dark hair web. They meet you in a secret location, take you down in an elevator into a mysterious underground cutting world. Obviously your retinas get scanned to make sure you haven’t got any of the killer viruses that are going round.
Talking of viruses, pandemics are rife in the third millennium. The world walks around in hazmat suits and the up-market barbershops cut through a screen that separates them from the clients.
Despite what people say about the future, there aren’t as many robots as you might think there would be. A lot of things have been put on the backburner since the apocalypse. So advances in technology haven’t been as big as they were in the early 2000s. In 3020 it’s all about augmented reality, rather than artificial intelligence. Everything is done online, especially people’s social lives. Instead of going ‘out out’, people stay ‘in in’ and hang out in chat rooms online exploring virtual worlds (travel as we know it was banned in the year 2090). Now, augmented reality has become most people’s reality.”