(Re)mnants (2018) comes out of the West African principle Sankofa meaning, Go back and fetch it. It is part film, installation, and dialogue. As a descendant of those in the trans-Atlantic slave trade I felt the need to honor my ancestors who lost the ties to their culture by force but were able to create a new culture in it's wake.
(Re)mnants started with a question, ‘Where are you really from?’ Innocent enough, but for someone who is the descendant of those Africans forcibly brought over the Atlantic Ocean into a institution that not only dehumanized them; but also erased their history , it’s one that brings up feelings of loss and sadness. I wish I had a simple answer, that I could point somewhere on a map that would lead me to my ancestors, and ultimately myself but I don’t have that option. There is a quote that has been circulating recently on social media that reads ‘ To be African American is to be African without memory & American without privilege.‘ African Americans exist in a liminal space between imaginary and misunderstood. We are revered and consumed but never fully embraced, never cared for, always an outsider. We helped build this country and still we fight everyday as more and more of our rights are stripped away, our humanity stripped away. I created (Re)mnants as a way to get closer to my ancestors as well as to define myself for myself.
(Re) mnants is an interactive digital media installation, chronicling the journey into my ancestral and spiritual heritage.(Re) mnants is a conscious act of (Re) membering, (Re) imagining, and (Re) vering those who have come before us and still walk among us. Asking the questions “how do you remember, and what do you choose to forget?” I pull from African American quilt making traditions to use scraps of knowledge and traces of remembrance to fashion a clearer picture of her familial past/legacy. After tracing my lineage through a popular DNA testing site, I was faced with the reality that ancestry is more than percentages, and that although much of my ancestor’s stories were engulfed by the tumultuous tides of the Transatlantic slave trade, their memories live within me.
(Re) mnants is as much a film as it is a ritual. It is an ongoing preformative ritual of communing with ancestors, whose names she doesn’t know, yet whose spirits hold an everlasting influence on her life and artistic process. Utilizing video, soundscape, and projection mapping, I refashion my family history to create a portal for participants to cross the boundary between the imagined and the biographical, the physical and the spiritual, the living and the ancestors. (Re)mnants is a memorial and a rebirth and a reminder that although we hold all of our ancestors trauma, we also hold their resilience, joy and dreams.