Be/Coming is rooted in various masquerade traditions found throughout Africa, particularly Gelede and Egungun of the Yoruba (Nigeria). Gelede honors female mystical power while Egungun honors the collective ancestors of an individual person or group. Be/Coming is the first in an ancestral masquerade series that addresses historical and contemporary social ills and in/justices rooted in American society. In this manifestation, Be/Coming dances for African-American women to reclaim their primordial female power, which continues to be fractured, destabilized, and undermined by the weight of history, negative stereotypes and derogatory imagery.
Be/Coming is a 3 part project consisting of the the installation, poem and community interaction. The project is a result of participation in the Poetic Dialogue Project, where an artist and poet with similar themes in their work are matched to create a new work of art. I was matched with friend and master poet M. Eliza Hamilton Abegunde. The resulting piece, which included collaboration with more than 30 (and counting) community members is Be/Coming, which has now spawned a series. Click here to view the poem Unititled Poem.