Possessed: A Genealogy of Black Women, Hauntology and Art as Survival

An auto-ethnographical portfolio, Possessed comprisesthree photography installations and an essay. I employ family archives and self-portraits to understand the exceptional humanity of black women. Black women in the diaspora are positioned squarely in a fixed liminality — the in-between space of hybridity and fusion where we are both invisible and hypervisible. In the liminal space, a ghost emerges which I explain as haunting — the theory that the memory of violence and trauma can haunt. These ghosts help us to survive by allowing us to create art. Art herein is understood as any form of creation. We create things that protect us; we create ideas that we teach to our children that enable them to survive’ we create possibilities of the future and new memories of the past. The haunting then is a source of profound invention. Carnival is an example of the haunting aesthetic that comes from this space. I use mimicry and costume found in carnival aesthetic to create autobiographical writings and performance based photographic works — Salt: A Still Performance, Sixth CompanyBattalion and Blue Birth Beloved.