For the black person, the traumas of the past, far and near, will always persist into the present – and more than likely extend themselves into the future*. History has made them inescapable. In being inescapable, we are constantly grappling with them and eventually force ourselves to confront and acknowledge their truth.
For me, it begins around 1270AD: the Mapungubwe Kingdom and VhaVenda of southern Africa. I am in a constant cycle of coming to terms with my ancestral past while simultaneously seeking it in order to mobilise it within the present day. All the while being a long-term resident on this very western and foreign soil. Soil I have conditioned myself into understanding as one of my homes since the age of 6. And below, is perhaps the beginnings of a short story I imagine I would tell my 6-year-old self.
My practice is an on-going and ever-evolving exploration of oral storytelling as a vehicle for the learning, cultivation and merging of narratives, as well as the sharing of knowledge, and proposing this in current time. I also simultaneously seek to critically consider the metaphysics around past, present and future; the way in which history is not as linear in the way we naturally conceive and summarise it as being, particularly in relation to the narratives of non-western communities.
*s/o to Jacques Derrida for putting into words feelings I once did not know existed words for.