by Esther Osayande

Steel Sculpture
8’ tall x 4’ wide

Sankofa is a metaphorical symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana, which is several hundred years old. Sankofa expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress in moving forward.

The sculpture is currently in progress at Chicago Fire Arts Center. Here are some progress shots:

Without question, COVID-19 has revealed many structures of inequity in the United States and has motivated many Americans to no longer remain silent or tolerate the injustices that have prevailed for decades. Sankofa tells us that we as a people can rise above conflicts of ego and treat all beings we meet as brothers and sisters. It is time to start the healing.

My hope is that by using the Sankofa bird as a symbol that it will be a recognizable symbol to African Americans and bringing attention and awareness to our history and our contributions to our communities. The goal is to have this artwork placed where residents will encounter the sculpture on a daily basis in the neighborhood to serve as this reminder.

The Sankofa sculpture panel is a collaborative fabrication with the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center located at 3749 Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis (CAFAC).

CAFAC is a non profit arts organization that fills a unique niche in the twin cities creating art forms produced by heat (Fire Arts) with focus on education and public art – providing a platform for social impact and community driven resources. CAFAC is instrumental to bringing artists creative concepts to life.