We are a collective of artists, thinkers, dreamers, of black people who refuse to be undertaken by the captivity of this present world. The bloodlines of Black people are interconnected at the roots of our spiritual perceptions. These spiritual processes are based upon ancient paradigms of laws that allow us to tap into our innate abilities grounded in ancestral power. We envision this rootwork as a way for us to gather, meditate, grieve and manifest together as a way to carry on the joys and wisdom of our ancestors. We are the voices of Sankofa. Join us in sacred acts of remembering our futures.
Current curators include: Jari Bradley, Stephen Leeper, Nina Monet Reynoso, Tonesha Russell, Deaidre White
.between the forest + the trees. Volume 2, Issue 2
In the face of captivity, many of our African ancestors fought and fled into the wilderness. They disappeared into the landscapes by becoming one with the forests, swamps, rivers, and marshes. Our elders allowed their bodies, minds and spirits to blend with their surroundings and camouflage into the cover of the Earth.
We were there, but not there, existing but not seen; able to experience life beyond the reach of the whips and the chains.
In this age of transparency, visibility has become a currency of modern life. To see and be seen has become a prerequisite of proving our existence in this modern world. It has become confirmation of self in the blinding light of modernity. But, this moment of hypervisibility and exposure is also a moment of immense censorship and control. This intimate loss of the discrete, the unseen, the unknown, the ephemeral has stunted the radical possibilities of organizing and moving differently in a world predicated on absolute surveillance, control and dominion.
When our movements, thoughts, hopes, dreams, actions are known. recorded. commodified. tracked. for all eyes to see, package, share, and retweet, we are turned into a commodity and unwittingly surrender our autonomy, freedom and free will. It is precisely because we know we are being watched that we get got by a system seeking to consume and commodify every aspect of our collective being for its cannibalistic desires.
In this trap of transparency, we are kept blind, captured and held slave to a way of life that preys on our being. This, our fugitive and maroon ancestors knew very well—there is no hope for transformation of predatory systems whose existence is predicated on the death and dismemberment of people and the planet. We, like them, must move on a different frequency and vibration—we must have the courage to leap into the unknown with all our heart, because it is in the presence of the unknown that the truest expressions of and essence of life become possible.
Root/work invites you to engage the possibilities that lie in the discrete opacity of the wilderness of our existence. This is a call to contemplate our movements + actions in the search for liberation and freedom. How do we organize, engage, and exist in ways that don’t re-inscribe the traps and traumas of modernity? How do we resist and refuse the capture, commodification and capitalization of Black life and Black bodies? This special issue is an invitation to bathe in the ephemeral nature of the forests as we attempt to breathe (new) life into the movements of Black people in places predicated on enslavement and capture.