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The performance suggests a rite of passing for the object that served black women well, black tights. Having now found her beauty in her own shade of nude, Enam says goodbye to an item that has protected and shielded black women from the reality of their invisibility. By winding the tights around the mirror frame she unbinds herself from the many forces that once constricted her into a form not her own. She can now emerge through the mirror confident in her skin to boldly occupy her visibility and space as her true self.
Photos credit: SMD Photography
This performance of healing speaks to the sensuality of the female form, and the elasticity and malleability of the human body. It represents the many forms of bondage that constrict the black woman to fit a mould not intended for her. To arrive at the point of reclamation and awakening, black women must face the pain of their ancestor’s past, before releasing it, and opening up space to receive their love and heal.
Taking direct inspiration from Senga Nengudi’s body of work, and specifically channelling Sandmining’s themes of Native American healing along with Nengudi’s love of African ceremony most apparent in Ceremony for Freeway Fets. This activation harnessed the symboloy and cultural practices inherent in Enam's Ewe (Ghana) heritage to become both a response and conversation.
Photos credit: Jerry Hardman-Jones