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Black Artstory Month 2017 | The Altar: Rituals of Healing in the African Diaspora
Black Artstory Month 2017 "The Altar: Rituals of Healing in the African Diaspora."
“We were made for this. Born for this. Forged in the fires of all our ancestors’ offerings. Of their triumphs. Of their hopes, dreams, sacrifices, blessings and prayers. We carry the burden of their suffering. Of their mistakes. Of their ignorance, abuses, betrayals and all the right and wrong battles they waged. And won. And lost. We are the sum total of what they shied away from, what they stepped up to, what they were manipulated by, what they were defeated by, what they were too broken to do. We are the compilation of the ways they were treated by the powers that be. The ways they benefited from the suffering of others. The way they suffered so that others could benefit. We are the result of the political struggles they struggled with. The land that was stolen from them or the land that they stole. Or both.” -@chani nicholas
Blood memory allows us to arrive in this place with the accumulated knowledge, energies and tools of our ancestors. How often do we stop to think about what we’ve inherited? The ways in which we survive? The ways we learn (or just know) how to recover and heal? What does it mean to heal, to restore our bodies, hearts and minds? What rituals do we evoke to confront our suffering in times of trauma, not just for ourselves but for each other and our communities? How do we begin to explore where these traditions of healing are born and how they are passed from our ancestors to us and to our children? "The Altar: Rituals of Healing in the African Diaspora" is an exploration, through the lens of arts and culture, of healing rituals that span the African Diaspora; a celebration of the practices that fuel us and allow us to thrive in the world as African Descendants; an acknowledgment of our individual and collective healing practices as innate acts of resistance. Through visual art installations, performance, film, poetry and other creative mediums and practices, viewers will encounter how artists are honoring these longstanding healing rituals and traditions. "The Altar” is thus both an art exhibition and an offering of healing strategies, anchored in community, that aim to overcome stress, reinforce our intentions in the world and heal trauma. It is an invitation to learn how we can spiritually protect ourselves and each other and a commemoration of our legacy of healing throughout time and place.
Key Words/ Ideas Altar Offerings Heal Spirit Soul Breath Power Transference Inheritance Ritual Tradition / Traditional Generational / Intergenerational Ancestry / Ancestors / Descendants Lineage Timelessness / Time / Temporal Recipes Natural Knowing Blood Memory Art as release Art Therapy Religion Church Sacred spaces Holiness Liberation / Freedom Community / Communication African Diaspora