Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2013 Contents A41
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Trinidad Theatre Workshop
will be restarting its acting work-
shops in September for children,
teens and adults.
A release from the TTW said the
Children s Theatre Workshop starts
on September 7 and continues every
Saturday until December 14. The
classes will be between the hours of
10 am and 1 pm and will be taught
by Tyker Phillips. The cost is $1,600
and open to children between the
ages of seven and 12.
The Teen Theatre Workshop also
starts on September 7 and like the
Children s workshop, will run every
Saturday until December 14. Classes
will be between the hours of 1 pm
to 4 pm, just after the Children s
workshop. This class will be taught
by Afi Ford-Hopson to teenagers
between the ages of 13 and 17 and
People interested in being actors
can enrol in the New Actors Work-
shop which starts on September 11
and runs for every Wednesday until
December 14 from 6 pm to 9 pm.
This class is open to ages 18 and
over and will be taught by Timmia
Hearn. The fee for this workshop is
The TTW has also indicated that
scholarships and deferred payment
plans are available upon request.
Interested people can contact
TTW at 624-8502 or via e-mail at
• For more information, check
out the TTW Web site,
follow them on Twitter
@TrinidadTheatre or visit
their Facebook page.
TTW resumes acting workshops in September
Venezuelan papers are rife with
reports that robbers are picking dif-
ferent kinds of locks these days---
locks of hair stolen from women
to sell in the country s lucrative
beauty business. The president says
its a rumour designed to make
young people paranoid. Even if it
is, what does it say about the things
Venezuelans value most?
It s the latest trend in Venezuela s
crime industry---stealing women s
hair. The longer, the better.
It s been happening in Maracaibo,
the country s second largest city. For
a couple of weeks, newspapers have
been dedicating daily headlines to
the crime. Victims have said they
were approached by a group of two
or three. While one person held them
down and threatened them, the other
would demand that they put their
hair up in a ponytail---and then cut
it off with gardening shears.
Online publications have been giv-
ing tips on how to avoid having one s
hair stolen by covering it with a cap
or scarf. One Web site posted a four-
minute video tutorial on how to put
one s hair up in a bun by using a
I found myself watching it,
although my own haircut is so short
that thieves wouldn t even approach
Hair theft is not a particularly
original crime. In South Africa, men
have been robbed of their dreadlocks.
Cases have also been reported in
Burma---and closer to home for me---
next door in Colombia and Brazil.
The usual explanation for such
theft is that hair is simply sold on
to make wigs and extensions. But in
Venezuela, many other theories have
sprung up to explain the phenom-
enon. It seems that for commenta-
tors, stealing hair is a reflection of
the country s many ills. For example,
an editorial in the newspaper El
Nacional blamed its "beauty culture"
for the thefts.
Venezuela does take beauty seri-
ously. It has racked up more Miss
Universes and Miss Worlds than
anywhere else, and other women
feel the pressure on a daily basis.
Breast implants are a common pres-
ent for 15-year-olds. Make-up is a
must at all times---even in the gym.
Manes of trailing hair extensions
are part of this, although I never
understood the hype. I used to have
long hair myself. When I got tired
again, I guess I ll just wait until it
But Daniel, my hairdresser, tells
me Venezuelan women are impatient
with their hair and don t take enough
care of it. They dye it, they straighten
it, they do whatever it takes for it
to look good all the time. That s why
extensions are so popular, he says.
They are quick and yet they look
With these considerations in
mind, the newspaper s editorial may
even make sense. If women here are
willing to go as far as having aesthetic
or plastic surgery---which can be
dangerous and sometimes even leads
to death---then it makes sense that
violence infiltrates the realm of beau-
ty. But does the newspaper maybe
suggest that women themselves are
the ones to blame?
Las Piranas---as the hair thieves
are known---are mostly female. But
violence is a much deeper issue in
this country. According to the UN,
Venezuela now has the fifth highest
murder rate in the world. Kidnap-
pings are so common that many
well-to-do families share a fund
with friends, so they always have
easy-to-access cash if one of their
loved ones is snatched. With such
high levels of crime and impunity,
it is understandable that thieves try
to take advantage of what has
become a lucrative market.
Hair extensions don t come cheap.
A full head can cost as much as
10,000 bolivares---nearly US$1,500
at the official exchange rate. This
means a thief can earn up to US$500
for a good chunk of hair.
The hair theft phenomenon isn t
as simple as it seems. So far, no for-
mal complaints have been filed. The
news stories are based on testimonies
of a few victims in local media. But
here in Venezuela, paranoia is ram-
pant. In Caracas, the capital, there
have been no reports of the crime.
But people are already worrying. The
other night, a woman told me that
she wasn t sure whether it was worse
for thieves to go for her hair or for
And some women are even choos-
ing to cut their hair before someone
else snatches it. Daniel, my hair-
dresser, says my short, basic cut may
even become fashionable soon.
(Written by BBC Venezuela cor-
respondent Irene Caselli)
A tangled tale of hair robbers
Venezuelan women have been robbed of their hair and those with long hair
are being warned to cover it with a cap or scarf.
Men's dreadlocks are not exempt from thieves with
scissors. In some parts of South Africa, people with
dreadlocks have been cautious about wearing their
hair out at night.
seriously. It has
racked up more
women feel the
pressure on a
implants are a
present for 15-
Make-up is a
must at all
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