ORÍ GEM I
‘Orí,’ from the African Yoruba language, means head. ‘Orí gem’ means return—a kind of origin or destiny. My work “Orí Gem” looks at African diaspora and the displacement of African Brazilian bodies from Africa. As I am a descendant from Africans who were forcibly removed from their continent, the work can be seen as an investigation of erased histories.
In the performance “Ori Gem,” I—barefoot and wearing white clothes—held a utility knife and backwards map. I proceeded to cut Brazil off the world map and paste it back into the continent of Africa using red glue. The performance action was intended to question western cartography and reflect on how painful it still is to be the descendent of displaced Africans.