Jamie Hallam, Scotland, Born In 2004
Just 1-2% of the world’s population have natural red hair, which makes it a very unique trait that can become a fascinating selling feature that stands out in a crowd—or, in some cases, cause bullying for being different. If an uncommon hair color is seen as individuality rather than an oddity, we can live in a more understanding world because after all, the same DNA flows in all of us beyond borders, and here’s a testimony to that.
Clockwise: Steven Mckay, Esther, Rebecca (Mother), Chloe, Lois And Abigail, Scotland
Over the past seven years, 39-year-old Scottish photographer Kieran Dodds has been traveling the world and capturing different people with one connecting trait—ginger hair. But the project is not just about hair. As Kieran told Bored Panda, it’s about “connecting us across political and cultural boundaries, using a rare golden thread.”
Alexander Soued, Scotland, Born In 2011
“Look, stare and marvel, that’s the whole point. Find connections across the world. I want people to compare the portraits and delight in our variety even without an apparently homogenous group. We are made of the same stuff but we are uniquely tuned,” he says.
Sveta Ni, Russia, Born In 1996
“In 2014, Scotland voted on independence and I was considering the cliches of identity. I knew I was one of them, being pale and ginger, but very early on in the research process, I found that it is a global trait. Even Scotland, as the global capital, has 13% of people at most showing the hair color. There were two hot spots, it claimed, one in Scotland and Ireland that is confirmed by science—the Celtic Fringe. The other hot spot was in Russia that was confirmed by an anecdote.”
Jordan DeLeon, Jamaica, Born In 2016
Kieran has made interesting discoveries during his photography project, although he mainly traveled across places that are considered hot spots of the ginger population like Scotland and the Russian city of Perm, and also Jamaica, with complex genetic inheritance.
Randy Wong, Jamaica, Born In 1988
“Our genes have traveled far across history even if we personally have not,” he says. “Due to constraints on money (this was all self-funded), I focused my attention on the two hot spots, but also Jamaica. I made work over seven years in different places in the UK. In London, I met gingers from across the world, but in Scotland, I saw that you don’t need to travel far. One lad had an Indian great-grandfather and another had an Eastern European mother and Middle Eastern dad. He is Scottish, but his story expands our expectations of that narrow political term.”
Lucy Fleming, Scotland, Born In 2005
Kieran has put his international finds that transect eleven time zones, from the Americas through Europe, on to the Middle East and Asia, in a photography book called Gingers, which was sold out before it was released on November 20.
The photographer dedicated this book to his twin daughters, who have the last portrait in the book: “I want something for them to grow up and see they are part of something bigger, not merely an identity group but a group within the bigger family of humanity.”
Nixie Connelly, Scotland
“The series is made to help us see the individual people in this series, that we are made of the same stuff and in the case of hair, it shows. Dividing people into smaller groups based on characteristics seems counterproductive if we continue to see them as an oddity rather than as a unique part of a global human family.”
Marteka Nembhard, Jamaica, Born In 2005
Gilad Belkin, Israel, Born In 1988
Maya Duncan-Smith, Dundee, Scotland
Photographer’s Daughters Izzy & Ada Dodds, Scotland
Pacey Young, Scotland
Photographer Kieran Dodds, Scotland, Born In 1980
Chris McCabe, Scotland
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