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Barbershops of Brooklyn by Ol' Skool Sean

Photographing the communal space for men of all ages.

by Sean Maung
24 July 2014, 5:00am

As Brooklyners well know, each of the hundreds of barbershops in Brooklyn reflect the demographics of its particular neighbourhood. If you roll to Church and Mcdonald in Kensington, you will see barbershops that reflect the culture of Bangladeshi locals. If you roll to Broadway and Halsey in Bushwick, barbershops will represent the African American, Puerto-Rican, and Dominican populations of that ‘hood.

For this series, I have mainly documented barbershops in Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, but I have also photographed in Ft. Greene and Williamsburg. As I got into the mix in these spots and began shooting, I found myself getting caught up in the nature of the barbershop. I found myself putting down my camera and talking about COINTELPRO, The Pacers vs. The Heat, Bushwick in the 90s, The Bloods and Crips, Why Solange hit Jay-z, and so much more. Barbershops are understood to be communal space for men of all ages; they’re places that promote dialogue and reinforce culture. Men discuss anything and everything from politics to music, and, of course, women. Young men and boys are acculturated by different generations as wisdom is passed along.

Sean Maung (popularly Ol' Skool Sean) is a Brooklyn-based photographer and educator.