Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is a writer who focuses on stories that explore issues around the diverse sexualities of African women. She is co-creator and curator of Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women, a highly-acclaimed and widely read blog on African women, gender and sexuality.
Together with Paula Akugizibwe alongside Nana Akosua Hanson and Akwaeke Emezi, Nana will lead a panel discussion at THE LABS @ CHALE WOTE this year. The conversation, named Spirit Women, will be a celebration of the exquisite forms of power that tend to be associated with femininity – often in a negative way – even as they hold the world together.
The association of femininity with weakness (and masculinity with strength) is a brutalizing norm across our world. Language such as “pussy”, “such a girl” and “such a bitch” are often disdainfully used to make women feel inferior. Such language is also reflective of a very deep misogyny.
In response to these anti-women attitudes, the Spirit Women session will:
explore various ways in which spirit power lives among women, how we in turn live through it, and how we can use it to subvert the oppressive ways in which robot systems express power.
The aim, ultimately, is to overturn “patriachal robotocracies” by using powers such as creation and reclamation, and the power of salvaging beauty from mountains of bullshit – to claim, own and display the power in being “such a girl”, “such a bitch”, or “such a hoe”.
Musing more on the festival theme, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah shares:
Spirit Robot represents both our current realities – living in a world and a system which can be so alienating to our spirits. Robots live in concrete jungles. Our spirits, however, can roam free and transcend current realities. However, robotic technologies also represent new possibilities, new ways of connecting. Can we connect our spirits telepathically as well as through bytes and bits? The possibilities are fascinating. At its ultimate, the combination of spirit and robots to me represents new possibilities for a new world, a world where we use our robotic powers to heal all our spirits and to live in freedom in this universe and beyond.
Nana Darkoa, who also was part of the CHALE WOTE production team during the first year of the festival, expects the 2016 edition to “be the energetic, inspiring space that it has been since the beginning”. She is looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Her last word for those attending the Spirit Women session? “Come ready to connect with the spirits of sassy, sensual, spirit filled African women”.