Last month Unlimited had a call out for commissions from Black disabled artists for our blog. ‘Can I be free’ by Gold Akanbi is the first of these commissions. ‘Can I be Free’ explores the Black body and identity with influences from Afro-futurism and Artificial Intelligence, click the video below to watch.
Can I Be Free looks to reflect on the physical, emotional and mental restrictions placed on vulnerable and marginalised Black individuals by faceless institutions and state authorities. With our identities often being whittled down to nothing but statistics and figures in graphs and on computers, Can I Be Free attempts to express these restrictions placed on the Black Body and Identity, both metaphorically and physically. The need to exercise control over the performance of Black Bodies, whether visibly or invisibly disabled, through the tool of false benevolence is something that the State has normalised as a form of oppression. Inspired by Artificial Intelligence, Afro-futurism and ancestral divination, I attempt to express the constant journey and battle I face to be free.
About the artist