Founded in 2019, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kukily Afrofeminist Arts Collective (curator)
Julia Cohen Ribeiro
Born Porto Alegre, Brazil (1995), lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Florencia Victoria Gomes
Born Buenos Aires, Argentina (1990), lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born Villavicencio, Colombia (1993), lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Colleen Ndemeh Fitzgerald
Born Connecticut, USA (1992), lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1990), lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
XTRÆNCESTRAL 2019 – ongoing
metal, wood fabric
16.45m x 21.10m
Courtesy of the artists
The production of this work was supported by We Are Family Foundation (Sponsor), Puffin Foundation (Additional Support), Casa Sofía (Argentina, Residency Support), PACT Zollverein (Germany, Residency Support).
Commissioned by Lagos Biennial 2024
XTRÆNCESTRAL is a philosophical concept created by Kukily collective which proposes an Afrofuture built from ancestral memory and the revival of Indigenous knowledge. We share this concept in the form of a multimedia installation. As a physical space, XTRÆNCESTRAL is an outdoor installation composed of a central structure inspired by African vernacular constructions and hairstyles, with an exterior that uses assemblage techniques to combine recycled, natural and found materials. Surrounding this center are several smaller structures that can be constantly transformed for multiple purposes: installing altars, projection screens, seating, and coverings for shade. We are creating a cultural-political gathering space to center our simultaneously local and global African/African diaspora issues. Finally, the installation presents the ‘xtræncestors’, characters we (Kukily) embody through visuals and live performance. The xtræncestors are guardians of this world, transmitting messages about an Afrofuturist vision. They guide audiences in the arduous yet essential task of envisioning better futures. The notion of social practice is important for the project since the connection between Kukily and the local community is key to its development. Within the installation we will include local artisan production techniques, for example, braided materials or straw weavings covering parts of the structure. We will invite local artists and knowledge-bearers to activate the space with their unique perspectives. And lastly, the audience visiting the installation creates meaning as they share their own knowledge, memory and vision of the future. XTRÆNCESTRAL will serve as a traveling archive of this knowledge as it is presented internationally. Kukily’s work is consistently informed by the theories and practices of Afrofeminism, decolonialism, pan-Africanism and Afrofuturism. Our vision revives and rethinks multiple modernities derived from African, Afro-diasporic and Indigenous communities. As Black women in the Americas we constantly ask ‘where are the Black people’, ‘how do we envision our collective future’, ‘what will our liberation look like’. To build together as a people we must meet, exchange knowledge, and create memory, thinking of our present as a time/space that integrates past and future. We must actively envision and plan our future, which is in danger of being colonized. In the African diaspora of the Americas some of our differences can be defined by the slave ship our ancestors were put on, which translated to the nation we ‘belong’ to today. XTRÆNCESTRAL, with its physical and virtual iterations, creates this transnational territory, this refuge for Black and Indigenous people of the world where we strengthen our ties beyond the nation-states where we live.
XTRÆNCESTRAL’s work is included in REFUGE teams.