Invitation: Ancestral Architecture

Ancestral Architecture (AA) is a recently founded collective agency led by Umi Baden-Powell and Hannah Catherine Jones intended to generate positive creative responses and conversations surrounding decolonisation and healing for the African Diaspora. At Fresh Milk, AA will be utilising “decolonized” bush rum (the transformation of rum with African herbs and spices) as metaphorical and literal fluid vehicle to connect with and heal themes associated with displacement. 

During our artist residency, AA will be studying the processes and transformations (cane to sugar, sugar to alcohol, product to colonial capital, etc.) of rum, a key product in transatlantic slavery. AA will explore the ways our ancestors channelled trickster tactics and used consumption of decolonized bush rum to fuel other decolonisation tactics and self-healing practices – music and performance. These themes will be explored at our first AA meetings on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 from 6-9pm and culminate in a day long residency finisage on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 at the Fresh Milk Art Platform, Walkers Dairy, St. George.

Performance, ritual, and community collaboration are Ancestral Architecture’s tools for navigating and addressing cultural and collective issues: the trans-generational, the (in)tangible residues of rum’s history. Alchemy (medicine creation via spice), shamanism (healing), and transformation (intoxication) and their historic/contemporary references will be ingredients of our collective performance: a communal consumption of the collaboratively spiced AA rum, the sharing of stories and traditions in an attempt to promote transatlantic antiphony and transcendence.

It is vital that any outcomes of the AA residency be inclusive, sensitive and generous. We want to produce the conditions for dialogue and mutual knowledge exchange by calling out for community participation at the AA meetings (Thursday November 16th + Saturday December 2nd). We are looking to infuse the work with archival, oral and sonic histories from everyone from rum connoisseurs/historians to DIY home-brew spiced rum makers, artists, musicians, performers and spectators.

With permission, performances, talks, rum production, would be documented and shared publicly and online.

Drop in or RSVP to Umi & Hannah at

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