Salwa Petersen

There are many forms of art and many platforms for promoting beauty and discourse. Salwa Petersen, a Chadian entrepreneur now living in Germany, embraces the traditions of hair braiding as a powerful form of expression. Her eponymous brand, Salwa Petersen, honours the hair-lengthening rituals of her homeland. Using wild harvested chébé seeds from her native Chad, and taking inspiration from her rich cultural heritage, she proactively encourages women and girls to find beauty that goes far beyond physical appearance. In doing so, she creates valuable employment opportunities in her homeland, and promotes narratives about both culture and environmental challenges in the threatened landscapes of the Sahel. She also contributes a portion of her proceeds to integrated conservation and development projects.