Middle Passage Series
This project is in collaboration with Afrobeat musician Gboyega Akerele during our discussions. I wanted to explore the connection of our shared heritage. Many years previously I did DNA to discover some family roots leading me to Nigeria and The Yoruba tribe. Gboyega Akerele was born in Nigeria and therefore has closer family ties to the country. Listening to his music inspired me to walk to the local river, leading me to thoughts of the many people that had traveled by sea in many different forms. Whether as migrants, travellers or explorers.
Middle Passage is in reference to the stage of the triangular trade in which millions of Africans were forcibly transported to the New World as part of the Atlanic slave trade. Combining imagery of the local Irish landscape with text from various authors and their perspective of the enslavement trade. From Lucille Clifton, Derek Walcott, poets, historians, sailors and enslaved people tell their story of the Middle Passage.
As part of Centre for Creative Practices I created this work as a response to the collaboration project New Voices of Ireland Series 8. Migrant artists from various countries Nigeria, South Africa, Romania, Pakistan, Greece, Iran and Ireland and from many different disciplines music, painting, performance, sculpture and photography. Collaborations were formed to create new work under the current COVID goverment guidelines. Very few face to face meetings took place. Ideas were exchanged over Zoom, messages and email.
Listening to Nigerian born Gboyega Akerle Afrobeat lyrics inspired me to take a walk to the local stream, climbing over the fence to watch the still water. I myself through a DNA search discovered that I have Nigerian ancestry thought about the sea and its many travellers in different forms. Taking photographs of the local areas of water in Blackrock and Dundalk Co. Louth. Combined with text from various storytellers on the history of the slave trade using the routes from Europe to Africa to the Americas called the Middle Passage.