Our cultures suggest we are eternal beings. Full of energy, carrying our ancestors ancestors dreams and the spirit of the universe with us. Most African traditions believe in more than just one plane of existence; and therefore in death there is also life – funerals become a ritual ground of saying goodbye in this life in preparation of saying hello in another. Sometimes the focus being on celebration and appreciation rather than a morbid flat line.
There are also a variety of traditions carried out across the continent that I as an African was intrigued to find out more about. From the Ghanaian choreographed pole bearers, to the Zulu belief of covering all reflective objects, to the Tanzanians fading practice of having Watani (comedians) at a funeral; the continent is full of vibrant, emotional and spiritual means of saying goodbye.
Fufuka, meaning “to come back to life” in Swahili, is a visual series inspired by a mixture of cultural beliefs of an afterlife intertwined with my own understanding. The images contain various symbolism in both western and African practices at funerals.