“The constitution of Ghana has developed a concept that I have not found anywhere else. 

It is the concept, a new right they call the right of abode as a fundamental right that they want to add to the list of traditional human rights. 

It seems to me that this idea of the right of abode is a cornerstone for any re-imagination of Africa as a borderless space. 

At a deep historical level, African and diasporic struggles for freedom and self-determination have always been intertwined with the aspiration to move unchained.”


“Whether under conditions of slavery or under colonial rule, the loss of our sovereignty automatically resulted in the loss of our right to free movement. 

This is the reason why the dream of a free redeemed and mighty African nation has been inextricably linked to the recovery of the right to come and go without let or hindrance across our colossal continent. 

In fact our history in modernity has, to a large extent, been one of constant displacement and confinement, forced migrations and coerced labour.”

THE YELLOW LINE: Sanae Arraqas. Courtesy of sanaearraqas.art

“Think of the plantation system in the Americas and the Caribbean. Think of the Black Codes, the Pig Laws or the vagrancy status after the failure of the reconstruction in the United States in 1887. Think of the chain gangs, labouring at tasks such as road construction, ditch digging, tearing and deforestation. 

Think of the Code de l’indigénat, think of the Bantustans and labour reserves in Southern Africa and of the carceral industrial complex in today’s United States of America. 

In each instance, to be African and to be black has meant to be consigned to one or the other.

……..If we want to conclude the work of decolonisation, we have to bring down colonial boundaries in our continent and turn Africa into a vast space of circulation for itself, for its descendants and for everyone who wants to tie his or her fate with our continent.”

                            ACHILLE MBEMBE

LET IT RAIN: Kwadwo Ani, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 40 cm, signed and dated, lower left. 2007. Private collection, purchased from the artist.

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