Toni Alexia Roach

Friday, Nov 30, 2018 6 – 9 pm

1463 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642

Roach will be doing a performance titled "Cantabitan" at 7pm on November 30, during the opening reception.

"Cantabitan" is a combination of the Latin word, cantabo, which means to sing, and the Yoruba word for story, which is itan. The literal translation of the opposing tongues is essentially what spirituals are: sung stories. While they are contemporarily used as a form of peaceful protest, spirituals give grave insight to the turmoil that African slaves faced on their unrequited journey from east to west. The songs are beautiful, but harrowing. In Cantabitan, they are sung in formal tonality, with an informal tongue. This unlikely pairing of styles is a beautiful result of the ugly truth of colonization. African slaves took on - not only their oppressor's deity, but their Latin languages as well, forsaking their native religions, rituals, and verbiage in exchange for a new identity. Under the guise of submission, they began to use these spirituals to express their woes, tell their stories, and salvage their identities.