So if you’re reading this, you are one of the people that donated some money in exchange for access to a blog documenting the research trip for Salt – UK to Ghana (via London, Brussels, Antwerp, Abidjan, Cotonou, Lagos and Tema), Ghana to Jamaica, (via Dubai and New York), Jamaica to the UK (Via Atlanta, Wilimington, Antwerp, Brussels and London again).
I am writing this blog by copying it if off my laptop onto my iphone and then sending it from the toilet in my cabin, because that’s the only place where I can get 3G. We’re still in Antwerp, docked at the port until Monday.
So this is just a little opener for me to think about what this writing space is going to be – this project is heavily laden with writing – messages in bottles, postcards, diary entries, names in sand and recipes for the Indiegogo, a massive script to be constructed loads of reports to hustle money on the side, long long email exchanges with dramaturgs, and lots of sort of writing for my own mental health, keeping my brain ticking along calmly and well. So what is this one doing that the others aren’t?
Well I’ll try to make sure it’s not horrible travel writing, or here’s my holiday pics, I’ll save that up for my mum cus literally all she wants to know is how the weather is (dunno, I’ve been in the boat all day) and what we’ve eaten (so much! Donuts for breakfast, and then chicken curry with rice/squid with roast potatoes/beef stew for lunch and then massive slabs of pizza for dinner, MY GOD) and if the rooms we’re in are nice (yes, a bit like halls at uni).
I’ll leave the wanky stuff for my dramaturgs, things like this quote from Saidiya Hartman:
‘vision of African continental family […] born by captives, exiles and orphans […] racial solidarity was expressed in the language of kinship because it both evidenced the wound and attempted to heal it. The slave and the ex-slave wanted what had been severed: kin. Those in the diaspora translated the story of race into one of love and betrayal’
I’ll leave the dead emotional vulnerable stuff for Emma (producer wonder and good friend), things like this:
I saw on Instagram the other day that ****** had done a ritual, manifestations about what she wanted from life. I think if I were to do manifestations for this trip they would be:
That somehow I could be present at my Grandmother’s funeral
~I had to pause a little here, that is a desperately desired thing~
~Still sitting with the pain of saying that out loud, sorry~
That I could be a generous, patient collaborator
That I could be a gentle person
That I would be able to not pop with frustration – patience, patience.
To remain brave, open and excitable
To be creatively open and fertile, spiritually grounded, and to keep where I am from held deep within me.
For you, there will be something that moves between those three spaces, I think – not in the very literal way that I just did, but in a way that is a bit like if Carrie Bradshaw made this trip, but she was broke and fat and black and bang into bell hooks.
Right, I’m going to go and read the trashy book that I bought with me to replace TV. We just found out that Lucas is cheating on Jhenah with Shanae, and it is ALL KICKING OFF.
Big Love from a Big Girl
Lots of people got in touch following the show to request a reading list of the various…