With seed funds from the Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research (CAETR) at Columbia University, Embodying Ancestry was birthed as a multi-media community engagement project from 2017-2019. By engaging women of color in oral history, archival, movement, and embodiment practices, Embodying Ancestry helped participants explore their own cultural heritage, kinship ties, and family origins. In response to the emergence of personal genomics and biotechnology companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com offering genealogy services, this project provided participants with alternatives tools and methods to use their own bodies and possessions as living archives of ancestral knowledge. This project was the natural outgrowth of my own personal journey piecing together the various facets of my racial, cultural, and spiritual identity in my short film, Borders of Blackness: Diaspora via the Indian Ocean.
Visit the project at https://embodyingancestry.tumblr.com/.
Thank you for your patience as this project migrates from Tumblr to the space below.
Meet the Participants
Brittany | Lontia | Marylin | Amy | Jasmine | Christie | Geraldine | Patricia | Laura | Angela & Diana | Tsedaye | Eddie | Lola | Briana | Simone | SINI | Italy | Ekua | Anika | Reem | Bobo | Kei | Macy | Sarah | DaMonique | Nandi | Anise | Yadira