Mare Monstrum / Drown In My Magic channels the power of myth by explicitly visualising Black merfolk. It envisions water as expanse which the characters can be safe in. New lore shifts the entanglement of Black bodies and their environments, making unquestionably clear that they belong. No longer are they subject to whims of the tide, or must choose to drift into a void that holds the potential for destruction. Instead, the portrayed are equipped to survive, and find freedom in the monstrous.
Drown In My Magic shows humanoid water creatures. Some are equipped with fins, or sharp teeth, others could almost be confused with homo sapiens. They once beached, got caught in nets and cages - but they find healing in community as well as their way back into the sea.
In the loose narrative, the character's care for each other trumps their intergeneratonal trauma.
Self-mythologizing, I thematize what it means to be dubbed "black" - to have an oppressive notion of race imposed upon, and to thrive nonetheless.
In my work I focus on bodies with nature, let landscapes reflect emotions, and sometimes incorporate slight surrealism. Often I use myself as subject, as starting point for an exploration that continues with others.
This story wasn't entirely mine to tell -darker skinned bodies can never benefit from colorism as I do, and the ripples of racism don't just affect the African diaspora. Shot in Siné Saloum, Sénégal, with a local crew, we combined props and digital post production to tell an intimate, universal and unapologetically fantastical story.