Toni Alexia Roach presents: Cantabitan

Wednesday, Nov 28 – Dec 22, 2018

1463 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642

"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.

Opening reception on November 30 at 6pm, with artist performance at 7pm