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Barby Asante and friends present a collective reading of poet, writer and lawyer M. NourbeSe Philip's essay Caribana: African Roots & Continuities, Race Space and the Poetics of Moving. Written in 1996 Caribana traces the history of Caribana, the Toronto Carnival, from the plantation to emancipation, through Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and to Europe. Barby and friends bring this reading together in a ceremony of grief and celebration, to remember the deep and long history of carnival as a living practice of resistance, survival, remembrance, joy and mourning, at a time when the COVID 19 pandemic takes the 54th Notting Hill Carnival off the streets and into a virtual space. This reading also reflects on the over policing of Black people in London and across the UK at this moment, asking if once again beka may be using this time to control Totoben and Maise's moving.
Readers: Barby Asante, Paul Goodwin, Foluke Taylor, Anthony Joseph, Gail Lewis and Rambisayi Marufu
Mix and Post Production: Barby Asante and Felix Taylor
Other Sounds: Recorded by Barby Asante at Keti Koti, 2018; Panorama, 2018 & 2019; Black Lives Matter Protest, Brixton, 2017.
Thank You to M.NoubeSe Philip for these wonderful and still resonant words and for her permission to use Caribana for this ceremony and South London Gallery for their generous support. An abridged live broadcast of this piece was played on Resonance FM as part of the South London Gallery, Bank Holiday Broadcast on Monday 31st August 2020.
Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca is a collaborative project/’exhibition’ initiated by researcher and curator Amal Alhaag and artist and curator Barby Asante. It is an ongoing visual, sonic and dialogic programme and exhibition environment that looks into the meaning, conceptualisation, multiplicities and complexities of the notion of Black Togetherness across Europe.