Ripples, rhythms and rapture: sounding spiritual technologies as marronage
At its first instance, 'Ripples, Rhythms & Rapture' aims to explore the ways in which spiritual technologies and modalities of fugitivity demonstrate an insistence on black and indigenous survival(s) in Africa and the African diaspora - both at the juncture of colonial encounters, and in the contemporary age of enduring coloniality. This research considers spiritual technologies with a specific focus on spiritual music/dance practices in pursuit of rapture, somatic freedom or the feeling of ecstatic communion with a/the divine. Secondly, this project demands that we imagine what it might look, feel and sound like if these syncretised technologies were to engage in a feedback loop across the middle passage on their own terms, according to their own internal logics. A South-South Cooperation of a different kind. The objective of the research is to think through the ways spiritual rapture (as it is achieved through spiritual technologies) may be conceived of as liberation praxis in former settler colonies in the global south.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Fine Arts to the Faculty of Humanities, School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, 2021