Benta Maina

BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging | Class of 2021

With over seven years experience in practising photography, Benta Maina specialises in fine art and commercial photography.
Using both colour and black white digital photography, Benta’s work explores controversial topics such as race, pollution and mental health. Her aim is to create a conversation that inspires a positive change and also to provide a learning opportunity for everyone. Benta was born in Kenya and is based in the North East of England.


Afro Rituals
The term ‘Afro Rituals’ is symbolic of the relationship that black people have to their hair. I am likening the relationship to religion, because Afro hair practices need a lot of time, care and have been passed down throughout history.  The practises are almost sacred because they connect people in many different ways and healthy Afro hair has been associated with royalty, fertility etc.. In recent years, there have been numerous controversies surrounding traditional African hairstyles, where they are sometimes disregarded as ‘unprofessional’ and ‘ghetto’. However, these same hairstyles are referred to as exotic when people of different ethnicities wear them. My aim is to connect black people through their cultural relationship with their hair, whilst also raising awareness of the importance of these symbolic rituals to wider communities.