The Opening slide for My Master’s Thesis Defense Show

I have officially graduated from Virginia Tech! I got my diploma in the mail and I can call myself a Master of Fine Arts! Wonderful. I’m exhausted. And now I’m under shelter-in-place orders, so there’s that.

Here are some pictures, since I have a lot more time on my hands lately and can get back to updating this lovely site.

These are Adinkra symbols, from the Akan and Asante peoples in modern-day Ghana. I wrote about their history and blended them with a little of my own in a bit of storytelling, graphic design, immersive environment-building, and multichannel sound design. These are only a few of the symbols that have and continue to be used, and eventually, I’ll make my own versions of most of them (I don’t say all because new ones have been made and for all I know, are still being made as I write), but there are also efforts underway to make the oldest ones into an alphabet–one of those things I learned while falling down a rabbit hole in the research phase of this project. Adinkra symbology has been a really good thing for me, and knowing that so many scholars and laypeople in Ghana actually want people like me to take these designs and incorporate them into my work (there’s a book that specifically calls for graphic designers to use these symbols!) is really encouraging, as well as a welcome bit of my own history I believed to have been lost in one of many voyages across the Atlantic. This project has been good for me academically, but it’s also the first step towards figuring out where I come from and telling that story.

Baby Steps,

Jasmine

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