FREE ONLINE EVENT AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY
Khadija Saye: Cowries Incense and Amulets
Mon 17 May 2021, 19:30 - 20:30 UK Time (BST)
Explore the objects used in Khadija Saye’s photography.
This is an online event hosted on Zoom. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access.
Khadija Saye: in this space we breathe is a series of nine powerfully evocative silk-screen prints by Gambian-British artist Khadija Saye (1992–2017) currently on display in the Upper Ground Gallery at the Library.
The series demonstrates Khadija’s deep concern with ‘how trauma is embodied in the black experience’ and her exploration of her Gambian heritage and mixed-faith background. She photographed herself with cultural, religious and spiritual objects of significance both to her Christian mother and Muslim father, and in African traditions of spirituality.
Khadija and her mother, Mary Ajaoi Augustus Mendy, were tragically killed in the Grenfell fire in 2017. Sadly, many of Saye’s emotive, multi-layered and profound artworks, as well as objects used in them, were also lost. In the same year, her works were displayed in the Diaspora Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Join us for an exploration of the significance of these objects. Kadija George Sesay chairs this fascinating conversation looking at the traditional use of the objects across West Africa and other parts of the world, their continued importance for the West African diaspora, and how Khadija Saye employed them to convey the importance of her personal connection to Gambian rituals – from purification to protection, and her desire for moments of spiritual grounding.