The Daily Sankofa
In Akan, Sankofa literally translates to “reach back and get it.” It relates to the concept of connectedness between ancestral past and modern-day present for African and African Diasporan people. I believe that that despite anthropological subversion of the continuity of the histories of African peoples, there is a internal, spiritually rooted link joining us to those histories in real time – an ancient sensibility that holds the values of those long-lost traditions and rejects modern contradiction of these values, whether consciously or unconsciously.
The works presented explore the tension between that ancestral past and the demands and values of the modern-day. The main character is a historical hybrid – with her jeans, sneakers and sweatshirt, she is solidly situated in this world, but her unprocessed warrior locks and undaunted gaze harkens to a time past. Her detached head is her ori, the Yoruba word literally meaning “head,” but also referring to one's spiritual intuition and destiny. She struggles against the rat race; and desires to enhance the connection she feels to another, deeper sense of self, defined outside the confines of modernity.