Anika M. Studio

Obiora (Heart of the People)

Obiora (Heart of the People)

Song IX in the Song of Degrees series.
Acrylic and ink on canvas, 24 in. x 24 in. x 1.5 in.

Obiora means the heart of the people. This map reimagines a Black community, liberated and participating in cooperative economics.

The Song of Degrees series traces the movements of families of African descent, past to present. Depicting the upheavals and transformations experienced from generation to generation, these relief maps reimagine Black American identity around the notions of community and exchange, faith, and remembrance.

What have we inherited, whether physical or spiritual, that is worth carrying forward?
What have we inherited worth examining, reclaiming or discarding?

Leveraging directional lines, warm colors, and a prophetic script, I represent the dynamics between an “unknown, unseen” people and their ongoing legacy.