Ashanti Harris


During the residency Ashanti will be developing research for a new project under the working title of “Walking with the Ancestors” which explores Caribbean Carnival procession as an act of joy and healing.  


In Caribbean carnival, masqueraders walk and dance in procession along a chosen route to celebrate their identity, connect with their ancestors, to question societal structures and to imagine alternate possibilities of future ways of being. The dances, rituals, music and sculptures in the carnival procession are all an embodiment of the different stories of migration and the histories that diasporic people carry with them as they move through the world. Participation in the procession as a performer, a maker, or a passerby, can be experienced as a form of meditation, a pilgrimage, a ceremony, a protest, a ritual, or a joyful act of healing. 

At this moment as the world is being turned upside down with the impact of the climate crisis, the pandemic and increasingly devastating world events, Carnival methodologies and processes become a device to question, unpick and unravel these occurrences and invite joyful possibilities for collective healing.  Developing this research, I would like to explore the ways in which these carnival rituals and aesthetics can be recontextualised to create an evocative, participatory artwork which will enable audiences to reflect on history and current events and imagine alternate realities and new possibilities for the future.