I became fascinated with the idea of language as a kind of archive and cultural carrier... becoming both the wound and the bridge for many colonised peoples
As I learned more about Indigenous worldviews first through my work as a policy analyst and then through my work curating They Forgot That We Were Seeds, an exhibition bringing together eight Black and Indigenous women artists around the theme of food—I began to feel a sense of loss and a concomitant desire for reconnection. Through a focus group for my masters dissertation, language emerged as that thing that not only allows us to connect with ancestral knowledge but is what holds it, keeps it alive. The work of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o then became influential in helping me understand the ways in which language has been used as a tool of imperialism, fostering a “subjugation of the spirit” that was meant to go alongside the physical subjugation ensured by other forms of violence. In many ways I became fascinated with the idea of language as a kind of archive and cultural carrier that bears the mark of encounters between different cultural groups and nations, be they friendly or violent, becoming both the wound and the bridge for many colonised peoples.