It’s exactly 2 years since I got a phone call that would change the my fate, particularly in education. When UAL admin called to tell me a “mistake” had been made – I couldn’t carry on with the second year studying BA Journalism, because I’d “failed” my first year, I thought my world would come crashing down…
And it almost did, until I decided to book a ticket to Brazil to work on a project I’ve always dreamt of doing – researching Afro-Brazilian culture, and tracing my ancestral roots in Salvador Bahia for my Tabom Project.
During the period leading up to Brazil, I used blogging as a therapy to come to terms with my “doomed” reality and how I could turn “failure” into “success”…
Two years on and despite my ongoing struggle with education, I’m slowly climbing the success leader. And the most visible proof of this is when I took the opportunity to submit some of my photographs documenting Afro-Brazilian Culture for the UnSpoken Barriers exhibition at London College of Communication. The unveiling of the exhibition took place on the 14th October with guests such as afrocentric-thinker Akala – MC, activist and author viewing my work.
At UAL ACS “Afro-Latino Fiesta” on the 23rd Oct, I had the opportunity to give a presentation about my photographs and my experience in Brazil. I spoke about my experience with Patricia Castillo, a beautiful dark-skinned African-decent Brazilian who came to terms with her “African-ness” for the first time when she visited London and met Africans from the continent. She went back to Brazil with a feeling of empowerment knowing where her roots lie. Patricia also educated me about Dia da Consciência Negra… Remembering Zumbi dos Palmares – Black consciousness day in Brazil. Other blog posts regarding Patricia I wrote about whilst in Brazil:
I also spoke about Patricia introducing me to Africans she knew working in Central. I found their stories to be fascinating so I decided to do a photographic project about 6 different Africans making a success for themselves in Central, Rio de Janeiro – Another diaspora… Africans living in Rio.
Central Street Success pt1, Central Street Success pt2, Central Street Success pt3, Central Street Success pt4, Central Street Success pt5, Central Street Success pt6.
After staying in Rio for over a month, I travelled north to Salvador, Bahia… My stay in Boca do Rio 45 minutes from the centre of Salvador, yet 2 minutes from the beach, was such an internally spiritual experience that I couldn’t share it on the blog – some experiences are better left buried in the heart and mind. I always say I left my heart in Salvador… And hopefully I’ll be going back to get it with plans to make a documentary about the Tabom People who left the shores of Salvador de Bahia for Nigeria and ended up in Ghana… The people I descend from.
And of course, meeting Spike Lee in Bahia was without a doubt a star-struck moment which I’d like to think fate played a part in…
Unspoken Barriers exhibition is displaying “Finding myself in Brazil… My journey through Afro-Brazilian Culture” along side other artists submissions at London College of Communication from the 14th October until the 14th November in celebration of the Black History Month. For more info, feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d like to use this opportunity to thank all my readers and followers who’ve been with me throughout my journey from finding myself to creating myself. It’s an ongoing journey and I hope you continue to stay with me on it!
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