Declaration of Independence is an on-going project by Barby Asante. Since 2017, Barby has developed workshops with groups of womxn of colour to reflect on how historic and contemporary social and political conditions affect the personal. Declaration of Independence invites womxn to develop personal testimonies exploring independence, interdependence and the present day impacts of colonial oppression, migration and racism, bringing these together in a performance ritual where their stories are told and witnessed. In late 2019 Barby brought the Declaration of Independence to Bergen Kunsthall, working with womxn of colour based in Bergen, Oslo and Copenhagen, resulting in a performance in January 2020.
Two new episodes of a podcast are now available as the result of a workshop and a performance made in collaboration with podcast producer Femi Oriogun Williams and some of the womxn who took part in the workshop and performance . These podcast episodes invite these womxn to reflect on the process of coming together to create the performance in collaboration with Barby and writer Foluke Taylor. The episodes build upon the texts created in the workshops contributed by the womxn to investigate the motivations for developing the pieces allowing for conversations to extend beyond the collected performance into the contexts that inform the creation of each piece. Contexts that are personal, institutional, social, political, local and global.
The workshop and performance in January 2020 was curated by Maria Rusinovskaya with the podcast curated by Scott Elliott, curator of live programme at Bergen Kunsthall. This podcast series is produced by Femi Oriogun-Williams.
Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ, concerned with the politics of place, space, identity and the histories and legacies of colonialism. She explores the un-constituted memories and archives of people of colour, through performative processes that include storytelling, collective actions, institutional interventions and rituals, to excavate, unearth and interrogate given narratives.