Remembering to Heal
The Boat, spiral time and other decolonial unearthings
Keywords:Decoloniality, Performance, archive, decolonial unearthings, Valongo, slavery
This essay builds on the author’s spectatorship of the monumental performance installation, O Barco/The Boat, by Grada Kilomba, during its opening in Lisbon on September 3, 2021.
Drawing inspiration from that work, the essay explores the concepts of spiral time and oraliture, as presented in Leda Maria Martins’ scholarship within performance studies, culminating in the introduction of the notion of decolonial unearthings. The text further presents how the idea was coined in the context of the author’s practice, research, and archive.
The development of decolonial unearthings as a conceptual tool is supported in the study of European colonial history, especially the transatlantic traffic of enslaved people and Afro-diaspora Orisha mythology. Unearthing and remembering are thus regarded as steps toward the healing of colonial wounds.
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