The Year of Return & Beyond: Reclaiming African History and Ancestry through the Nkyinkyim Installation

Event time: 
Monday, January 20, 2020 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL), Room 38-39 See map
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

A presentation of survivor’s semiotics with acclaimed artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, a Ghanaian sculptor whose Nkyinkyim Installation stands at the entrance of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice ( in Montgomery, Alabama. Opened in 2018 by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), it is the first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.
Akoto-Bamfo won the 2015 Kuenyehia Art Prize, the top prize for contemporary art in Ghana. He is a graduate of KNUST in Kumasi, Ghana, and the creator of Ancestor Project (, based in Nuhalenya Ada, Ghana. He notes, “The word ‘Nkyinkyim’ is both an adinkra symbol and a proverb. It directly relates to the travels made by our ancestors and also their journeys from where they migrated from. It also refers to the physical shape of the art installation which is going to be in twists and turns.”
* This talk will be in one of the library’s classrooms on the courtyard level. Seating is on a first-come basis and may be limited. All visitors will need to check any and all bags, coats, hats, and other personal belongings on the ground floor before going to the reading room. Mobile phones and hand held cameras are permitted. The library’s exhibition hall is open on Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2020, from 12 noon to 4 pm, and there will be a special display for the public of materials related to the African American Freedom Movement on view in the reading room.
For more on Akoto-Bamfo and his work:
* The Root, 2018:…
* EJI, 2019:
* BBC, 2019:…

Open to: 
General Public