The Women. They Were Plotting Too: Declaring Our Independence in the Spirit of Sankofa

Asante, Barby. 2023. The Women. They Were Plotting Too: Declaring Our Independence in the Spirit of Sankofa. In: Andrea N. Baldwin and Tonya Haynes, eds. Global Black Feminisms: Cross Border Collaboration through an Ethics of Care. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 156-179. ISBN 9780367698539 [Book Section]

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This paper explores the key concepts and processes that underpin Barby Asante’s ongoing performance work Declaration of Independence. This iterative performance work is grounded in decolonial Black feminist thinking and practices that draw on Asante’s interest in reconsidering the Akan Adinkra principle of Sankofa not just as a way to reflect on and address the past, but also a practice of care that calls on that which came before, to speculate on otherwise possibilities for the future. Asante examines Declaration of Independence as an artwork, a performative forum, a study group, a circle, and a community resource that brings together groups of black and womxn of colour to reflect on how the political affects the personal, when considering the continuing impact of historical legacies of slavery and colonialism. Central to this work is re-calling Ama Ata Aidoo’s poem, As Always, a Painful Declaration of Independence from her 1992 collection An Angry Letter in January as a core text in the works process of doing undoing. The poem is the call to which contributors to Asante’s project respond, to develop an artwork that centres their experiences, not just as performers but as creators of their own resources, communities, stories, and agendas.

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Book Section

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Black Feminism, Global Studies, Ethics of Care, Development Studies, Education, Geography, Social Sciences, Arts, Gender Studies

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28 August 2023Published

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29 Jan 2024 15:01

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29 Jan 2024 15:01


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