Interactive installation, 2019
“Return” is an interactive installation that gives virtual users a sense of physical interaction. Parallel installations in different locations use kinect sensors to transform body movements into reactions in light and sound, allowing people to communicate and influence each other's spaces.
"Return" was conceptualised in response to the ‘door of no return’ in Elmina Castle, Cape Coast, Ghana. Since visiting in 2018 Akeelah has reflected on diaspora connections to the continent through sites like this on the West African coast. “Return” explores the idea of diaspora as physical and social states of separation and investigates how cultural connections can be facilitated across a range of geographical contexts. This project will honour what has passed and enhance relationships between diaspora communities in the present through a series of installations connecting audiences on the African continent with audiences of African descent globally.
“Return” grounds a significant cultural exchange in technological innovation and speaks to themes such as lost data, memory and living monuments.
Developed during her residency with Invisible Flock, Akeelah exhibited initial prototypes of “Return” in 2019 at Light Night Leeds, Frequency Festival Lincoln and Brighton Digital Festival. From 2020 “Return” will be developed with support from the British Council and The University of Leeds.
Light Night Leeds 2019 (Leeds Town Hall and The Tetley)
Frequency Festival & Brighton Digital Festival 2019
Concept and fabrication: Akeelah Bertram
Fabrication support: Invisible Flock
Interaction technologist: Simon Fletcher
Network specialist: Ed Waring
Arts Council England
Light Night Leeds
The University of Brighton
The British Council
The University of Leeds