Roots in Яeverse
Hosted by Afro Urban Society
Onye Ozi Fellowship
This fellowship is 9 months of conversation, reflection, project exploration, construction-deconstruction, challenges, history, identities, Blackness. African-ness.
June 6, 2020
Register at: afrourbansociety.com/events
“One day you might finally pack up and head to the continent only to find out the Africa you went looking for, you left behind” ~Uzo Nwankpa
Roots in Яeverse is an audio-visual contemplation of multiple stories from Africans living in the diaspora told by Uzo Nwankpa recalling journeys from Africa to America and the discovery of the lost, stolen, and hidden parts of Africa in America. Is Africa in America? This project explores the reflection of an immigrant womyn’s journey of becoming “African” in America. This meditation explores the idea of “being” African as a ‘consciousness’ or a ‘state of mind’. This notion invites the idea of the continent known as Africa to be a place of origin that may physically disappear but consciously multiply in the diaspora. “I met my ancestors, who left or were taken, here in the flesh, reminding me of who I am. They remind me of my culture, spirituality, laws of living and activism”.
Onye Ozi Fellowship
‘Onye Ozi’ (‘Messenger’) brings Bay Area artists of diverse African ancestry across disciplines to create work that uses their personal experiences and artistic practice as a virile catalyst for social change. Fellows will reflect on the embodiment of the term paired with the phrase ‘ọnụ ụzọ’ (portal), how they/their work creates a pathway of discourse among new Black immigrants* and existing African American* communities.
The fellowship employs arts professionals, scholars, social justice practitioners, policy advocates, and cultural workers to guide the navigation of personal inquiry, socio-political discourse and the production and presentation of a final artistic piece. Fellows meet over the course of 9-months and create work addressing the inquiry independently or in collaboration with other fellows. Personal reflection, historical and contextual inquiry, artistic rigor, and collaboration are essential facets of the fellowship.