FULL FILM: 26 MINS
UBUNTU is a South African noun meaning ‘humanity’. More specifically it references an African philosophy ‘I am because we are’.
This film catalogues the transformation of six public sites having notable ties to slavery or present day racism in the city of Baltimore. As performers move within these smoke-filled spaces, their black bodies adorned with hair sculptures, which function as sacred objects, they tap into the energy of our ancestors while simultaneously urging us toward an emancipated future: a freedom which comes from unlocking what’s embedded within and eschewing the traditional pathway of seeking freedom from the colonizer.
Each performer wears a handmade hair sculpture representing the power to transcend, cleanse, and heal. Through the ritual, the performer's DNA is deposited upon the pieces themselves,the headdresses transform from sculpture to artifact. the bond is sealed, and these spaces of historical trauma are cleansed.
“As a person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
Nelson Mandela explained Ubuntu as follows:
“ a traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food and attend him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?”
For myself, UBUNTU is the interconnected nature of the communities in which we find ourselves. No matter our nationality, we belong here amongst our people. Sometimes we are misunderstood, and sometimes we must create our own community, regardless there is a sense of membership and belonging fostered therein. Our membership to these communities, self-created or by birthright, come with the desire to improve ourselves and the spaces we occupy. Here in UBUNTU, we see a sense of belonging to our ancestors and the spaces they walked on, though forcibly and enslaved. We occupy these same spaces, hoping to realize their unfulfilled lives and stories through our own.
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OR VIEW THE FILM IN CHAPTERS!
CH 1: KARMA:
CH 2: AMAADI:
CH 3: DEV'NAY:
CH 4: KAY:
CH 5: NICOLETTA:
CH 6: JAY: