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Root Work Journal - Navigating the Ocean - Volume 1, Issue 2

Waves and Beats in Sankofa

Ananse & the tricksters 


Allen Kwabena Frimpong otherwise known as ananse & the tricksters is a conceptual and performance artist. ananse & the tricksters body of work serves as a reprisal of the infamous folklore tales of Ananse the Spider from the Akan-Asante people in West Africa, the Caribbean and in North America. Ananse and the trickers’ work serves as a ritual rooted in the Akan cosmology from the area known as Ghana in West Africa. Ananse invites the energy of the tricksters who are cunning, savvy, adaptive and spiritual beings in West African cosmologies. He focuses on spiritual and physical constellations of the universe as a web of conceptual connections that weave stories of liberation from the spiritual bankruptcy of capitalism and creating an abundant life. Our hope through this submission is to contribute to the theme as a representation of play, relaxation, and rest for Black bodies.

Waves and Beats in Sankofa is a 40 second multimedia meditation of several video snippets recorded and edited on iPhone 10 August of 2020. ananse and the tricksters in this conceptual project are using the beach landscape, the ocean, and the sky as backdrop visuals. They introduce a mirror embedded in the beach sand. ananse and the tricksters through their hands begins to play several beat patterns through hip hop/hip-life into traditional Akan beat patterns. There is also an image of a bird that comes in and then disappears only to see red appear on the glass as ananse taps on the mirror with a seashell. A conversation is being had around the legacy of music throughout the diaspora through beat patterns and sounds. You also hear the waves of the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop sound which also is a reference towards the cultural connections of the diaspora.


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