Shaping the Past in Seattle: Live Talk with Wa Na Wari & Free Egunfemi Bangura (Oct 30, 2020)

How does one resist gentrification and displacement of Black spaces in Seattle? And how does one honor and continue the work and accomplishments of one’s ancestors?

STORY PORCH is an interdisciplinary project that mixes diasporic African ancestral veneration, space-keeping, and neighborhood reinvestment in Seattle’s historically redlined Central District neighborhood on the land of the Coast Salish People. In collaboration with Shaping the Past fellow Free Egunfemi Bangura and Goethe Pop Up Seattle, the Black arts organization Wa Na Wari reactivated its front of house–a mediating structure between home and street, private and public–as a memory space, diving into the history of porch culture and nation building, and preserving the cultural tradition of generational storytelling.

The installation opened on All Soul’s Day as a memorial space that amplifies those unadorned or undecorated and elevates their stories. The concept of the exhibition follows current health and safety guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Visitors have the opportunity to safely explore the interactive outdoor exhibition by walking through the front yard of the building and calling dedicated phone lines listed on the individual story portals to find out more about the stories of the individual ancestors and to be inspired.

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