Exhibition / 20 Oct – 26 Oct 2017

Route to Roots

Route to Roots
© Arnaldo James

Ffotogallery is delighted to present a vibrant new exhibition of photographs, costumes and video exploring the significance of carnival arts in shaping community identity in the United Kingdom, Africa and the Caribbean. A special launch event takes place at 6pm on Thursday 19 October at Ffotogallery at the Angel, Castle Street, Cardiff, and the exhibition runs for a week.

Timed to coincide with Black History Month, the exhibition marks the culmination of the Route to Roots project, which brought together artists and critical thinkers working in diverse art forms such as music, fine arts, theatre, dance, crochet, masquerade and carnival for a 7-day residency culminating in a public performance installation at the Butetown Carnival and the Hub Festival in Cardiff.

Route to Roots grew out of extensive research by Cardiff-based artist Adeola Dewis on how Carnival is a performance of re-presentation, combining cultural heritage and stories of historical, philosophical, spiritual significance from the African diasporic experience. The idea was to show how these stories and traditions can be shared through costume, music and dance in a public space. As Adeola Dewis explains:

“This project was conceived as part of my response to the publicity of violence and killings by the police of mostly black men (and women) and the Black Lives Matter movement that followed. I asked the question: what is that thing that connects us? In this project I was thinking about the ways in which we as diaspora people intersect. Interested in where and how we find and celebrate and highlight our common ground, our power, our voice, our magic. I use magic to refer to when energy comes together to work, to produce a positive action and set of circumstances”.

A special Route to Roots publication, published by Ffotogallery, accompanies the exhibition and will be available to schools, colleges and community groups.

The Route to Roots project was initiated by Adeola Dewis in partnership with Ffotogallery and funded by Arts Council Wales.