Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives
PRESENTED BY FLUX PROJECTS
honoring the over 800 unmarked graves within the African American Burial Grounds through the multimedia installation of a Ring Shout.
The Ring Shout is a traditional African American worship and gathering practice with origins in West African ritual and ceremony. The Ring Shout was reborn during enslavement in the American South in resistance to laws which prohibited those enslaved from gathering, except for worship, and forbid any form of cultural expression, including drumming. These laws were imposed in an effort to systematically dismantle communication, and ultimately community.
In response, those enslaved created Praise Houses—small usually wooden structures (barns or shacks) used for worship throughout the Southeast. As an act of resistance, congregants would gather in circle to stomp or shout (full body rhythmic movement) upon the wooden floors, ultimately creating a communal drum—secretly preserving their cultural rituals and collective prayers and traditions. These small hidden worship spaces were precursors to the first Black churches in the Western world.
Remembrance as Resistance celebrates the endurance of these traditions in contemporary dance, music, and spoken word as testament to the resilience of a people. The project will open on Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States, and will run through July 11, 2021.
Juneteenth 2021 at Oakland Cemetery
This immercive site specific installation is sponsored by
the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, the National Black Arts and Mailchimp