We Lost People: Diasporic Departure

Apart of the group Exhibition Sankofa


Black Arts Vancouver

Chase Keetley & Berlynn Beam


Erode. Depart. Palimpsest

Alter in suspension is the collective existence of Our foundation.

We Lost People is two parts in conversation with each other. The Altar, being the place you rest and find quietude. The Offerings are for those who’ve become Ancestors this past year. Ridgid and suspended, the Altar stands in place of true stability. Informed by the teachings of Yoruba, the use of Adinkra symbols Nkyinkyim and Nkisi Sarabanda activate the foundation, and Mako as the symbol of uneven ground. Hand-built ceramic vessels hold tree resin, and bakhoor used for ritual burning purposes. A physical place where Black people can gather, this installation is a representation of the collective existence of our foundation. Having always existed in a continuous state of migration; see San Francisco Bay Exodus to Victoria 1858, think Tulsa Oklahoma 1921.

Diasporic Departure: Where a culture’s historical significance is continually being eroded, to be rebuilt and redefined. Yet, it is not so literally a palimpsest. It is a necessary departure because there is nothing to build on, and thus having to create anew. Without having the ability to bear roots.

Black Arts Vancouver, founded in 2018, by Berlynn Beam and Chase Keetley. Is a community-led organization that focuses on furthering and nurturing the artistic expression of Pan-African youth in Vancouver.

We Lost People: Diasporic Departure (the Alter:4’4 ft 5ft high multi media by Chase Keetley)( The Offerings by Berlynn Beam, include: ceramic, raw canvas, fabric, several organic smudges, Glass wear) ( text on back wall by Nya Lewis Williams), Sankofa at the Museum of Anthropology Vancouver, British Columbia, Nov 2021.