PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS' ALLIANCE (ASCENSION)

Appliqué flag, 2017

PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS' ALLIANCE (ASCENSION) forms part of Larry Achiampong's Relic Traveller: Phase 1, a multi-disciplinary project manifesting in performance, audio, moving image and prose.

Taking place across various landscapes and locations, the project builds upon a postcolonial perspective informed by technology, agency and the body, and narratives of migration.

This speculative project considers the current social and political climate of our time; especially the rise of nationalism within the global West and tensions surrounding moments such as the United Kingdom’s ‘leave’ Brexit vote in 2016 for example. Meanwhile, the African Union’s African passport programme (also established in 2016) points toward the potential opening of boarders across a unified African continent in the future.

Included in the series are four flags that highlight African diasporic identity. The design of each flag features 54 stars that represent the 54 countries of Africa. While the colours green, black and red reflect its land, its people and the struggles the continent has endured, respectively. The field of yellow gold represents a new day and prosperity.

Achiampong has configured these Pan African colours into symbols and forms that are suggestive of various elements: community, motion (technology and the speed of darkness), squadron and the human figure in ascension. The flags culminate Afrofuturistic icons moving towards unity and equilibrium. The work does not frame Pan African Futurism as a utopian vision of the African continent, but one that considers aspects of responsibility in relation to the hidden tremors of history.

PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS' ALLIANCE (ASCENSION) is an artwork made possible with support from Somerset House & Arts Council England.

© Larry Achiampong