N*A*I*L*S hacks, facts and fictions is a collaborative publication and research project looking into Germany's nail salon industry and a critical inquiry into the varying political histories, economies and roles the nail salon provides. The project was funded by the Berlin Senate in partnership with District Berlin and initiated by Suza Husse.
Nail salons and beauty parlours are places of situated knowledge and intersectional platforms where different regimes – like those of bodies, of migration and of work – intersect. In dialogue with artists, activists and beauticians, the research group interviews, hacks and re-imagines the nail salon as a host for critical, trans-cultural and solidarity practices. Involving methods from art, architecture, design, sociology, critical theory and activism N*A*I*L*S investigates the economies and queer potentials of contemporary body care. We examine nail design as an aesthetic, social and spatial phenomenon that is interlinked with identities, hegemonies and emancipation. Artistic research itself will be critically discussed from feminist, queer, post-migrant and decolonial approaches. In dealing with (one's own) subjectivity and positionality we will foreground aspects of diasporically situated knowledge as well as questions about desires and privileges. Who researches (for) whom?