A Séance, A Call and Response, digital video duration 07:17, by Ashanti Harris in collaboration with Jen Martin and commissioned by V/DA for Sonic Séance: The Gathering, CCA, Glasgow, 2019
Episode 1, Ways of Knowing, a conversation with Ashanti Harris
Launch 22nd June – Ongoing
Rhubaba is delighted to present a series of podcasts recorded from our homes to complement our current remote programme. The committee programme through research based interests and during the pandemic we wanted to share these conversations as well as invite artists to join us in a variety of discussions. The themes include tarot, reading, poetry, seance and exorcism, afro-futurism and hydrofeminsm. Each episode is available to listen to on Soundcloud. New episodes will be announced on our social media.
In Episode 1 committee members Laura and Khadea invited artist Ashanti Harris to discuss her response to considering reading as an active practice. The conversation is navigated around her own experiences and art practice as we discuss in depth the research that she did making work for a programme of events called Sonic Seance: The Gathering that was delivered in Glasgow, 2019 that was organised and commissioned by Various Dance Artists. Considering seance as a form of reading, Ashanti details how her research into mediums, jumbies and the writing of Audre Lorde have opened up ways for addressing and articulating the ideas and life stories of women of colour that have historically been silenced.
Ashanti Harris is a multi-disciplinary visual artist and researcher working with dance, performance and sculpture. With a focus on recontextualusing historical narratives, Ashanti’s work dissects epistemologies of mobilities – the movement of people, ideas and things and the wider social implications of these movements.
As part of her creative practice, she is co-director for Project X – a creative education programme, platforming dance and performance from the African and Caribbean diaspora; and works collaboratively as part of the collective Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S) – facilitating experimental movement workshops and research groups.
Sonic Séance is a performance by V/DA made collaboratively by Mele Broomes, Ashanti Harris, Patricia Panther and Letitia Pleiades and performed as part of Take Me Somewhere, Tramway, Glasgow, 2019. Sonic Séance was followed by Sonic Séance: The Gathering, an exhibition bringing together the artistic practices of Mele Broomes, Ashanti Harris, Patricia Panther and Letitia Pleiades in collaboration with film maker Jen Martin, as well as invited artists Nene Camara & Angel Ng, Shaheeda Sinckler, Divine Tasinda, Bea Webster, Claricia Parinussa, and Raman Mundair. Looking at the past, present and future, subverting elements used to shape and manipulate for the imperialist gaze, this exhibition is an expression of anger, solidarity and euphoria against the dominance of cultural imperialism. Encompassing live performance, audio, video and text works, Sonic Séance: The Gathering is an immersive, warm and inviting space, and a continuously moving experience. The video works perform as capsules of thought and imagination, channelling voices and spirit interlocutors. Live and pre-recorded music scores expand themes of spirituality, female empowerment, witchcraft, afro-futurism, ancestral heritage, body work and ritual practices.