Alisha B. Wormsley [US]
Children of NAN Archive, 2020.
Archival materials.

Wormsley created the Children of NAN Archive as a “survival guide, inspired by Black women’s legacy of survival and prophecy for our future.” NAN, she explains, is the most-used syllable for “mother” across African dialects. The archive/body of work consists of photography, video footage, films, objects, philosophies, myths, rituals, and performances to understand and chronicle how Black womxn have taught one another to care for humans and the earth. In this installation, viewers access the archive through 3 objects: a vinyl record, a tapestry and a glass vessel. Inspired by Henrietta Lacks, Afrocentrist scholar Dr. Frances Cress Welsing and the ancient mystery schools of the venerated female water spirit Mami Wata, Wormsley selects examples from the archive that relate to how Black womyn are the code, the vessel, and the map.

Alisha B. Wormsley is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer who has been assembling the Children of NAN archive for more than a decade. Wormsley explores collective memory and the synchronicity of time through the stories of women of color, particularly Black women in America.