"Maps of Tomorrow" is a ongoing cycle in progress. It tells the story of my enslaved ancestors who were taken to the Caribbean, to Brazil and to Louisiana.These Pieces indeed are meant to be seen as topographic maps. Maps of an unknown world, an uncertain future full of foreign countries, coasts and bodies of water.
These Africans had no idea where they were taken after they had been bought, sold and kidnapped. These women, men and children did not know if they would survive the transport and what was waiting for them at its destination.
I imagine that for them these unknown waters, shores and land masses where terrifying and mythical places, inhabited by devils, demons and ghosts.
The subject of the cycle has also an influence on the materials I work with. Aside acrylic paint, ink and waxes I also use herbs extracts, plants and soil, that are native to the westafrican countries my ancestors came from, and mix them into the paint. I also, just recently, started to name some of the pieces with old names from these countries
Maps of Tomorrow is not only the historical reappraisal of my ancestors story but it is also a critic towards a world in which more people are enslaved than ever before. No matter if we look at the American prison system where over 60 percent of the inmates are afro-americans eventhough only about 14 percent of the american population is black, or if we look at women forced into prostitution all over the world, african refugees enslaved in Lybia or children forced into child labour in third world countries.
Atelier Dédé / Maps of Tomorrow