African Kinship Systems series

Series Description

African Kinship Systems is a series I have been developing over the years which explores the relationship between people of the African Caribbean diaspora and born Africans from the continent. African Kinship systems is an anthropological term which looks at how networks of people operate and interact in all aspects of social, personal and private life within communities. In this series I attempt to re-define that term, interested in how the relationship and identification between continent born and diaspora Africans is manifested.

To date the series explores these sets of trans-Atlantic relationships in two overlapping themes;

Emotional Science – particularly interested in the discourses between disciplines (such as history, anthropology and sociology) which might respond to a social phenomena with gathering facts, and actual people who might respond to that exact same social phenomena with a visceral emotional response. (For example, how different people, depending on their motivation and personal context, might deal with a certain aspect of history relating to the slave trade. One might be interested in the facts of who, what, where, when, where, why.  The other might be more interested in remembrance, healing, repair, recognition, and reparation. The same topic entered through very different conversations, neither any more or less valid than the other.)

Inconsequential Monuments – How we attempt to honour the sacrifices made by our ancestors with sincere respectful gestures and acts of remembrance, which in truth are never enough to fulfill, meet or reach the actual sacrifices that was made, but is what we feel is a fitting and adequate gesture in any given moment.  This notion is not limited to African peoples, all nations on earth partake in such ancestor remembrance rituals, whether that be in the form of DDay ceremonies, erecting statues, naming places after people, and other acts of civic remembrance.

Much of my other work touches on one or more of the above themes, though the work which has consciously entered into these debates in the very style of how the work has been produced are listed below.  This list will invariably grow as new work is produced.  (The works are also situated in other menus on this website.)

Returned Gaze
Portrait Photography
Theme – Afrikan Kinship (general)
Elmina Castle
Film (Photography and Audio, in a film timeline) – 3 mins 26 secs
Theme – Emotional Science
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Photography – Self Portraiture and Portrait montage
Themes  – Emotional Science / Inconsequential Monument
SS Mendi
Film (Underwater photography and moving image, poetry, and audio, in a moving image timeline.) – 23 mins 14 secs
Themes – Emotional Science / Inconsequential Monument