Anaka is not your average anything.
Her enigmatic energy, creative career and life path unfathomably blend across the canvas of her youth; much like a marble painted masterpiece of perfectly mismatched colors that we are taught cannot mix together. Somehow within Anaka, these rebellious combinations interweave a perfect shade of mysteriously harmonious iridescence.
She won’t mention FKA Twigs, Oshun or any of the other countless living icons she has intimately captured across America and Africa. She will not offer her resume to you, nor assume that you know about it.
Instead, she’ll ask what’s been inspiring you in your own life, she will giggle as the artful dash of glitter on her cheekbones glints in the Brooklyn sun and she will eat the shit out of some good Ethiopian food with you while talking casually about the magic of the cosmos.
“My culture as a Black American has taught me that we are the most influential in the world, because we are survivors and we also create as a form of survival and those creations are channeled throughout the whole world… everybody is influenced by Hip Hop, everybody is influenced by Jazz, everybody is influenced by the Blues, everybody is influenced by our Fashion…
That’s why it’s interesting – because it’s my culture but it’s also the world’s culture, because the world has adopted it so seamlessly and easily. So, growing up with a culture that’s so engrained in me but also so engrained in the world is something I’ve been meditating on a lot lately.”
“Photography/Film was formally used as a violent tool from colonizers but I’m basically reprogramming that into using it for productive ways to archive our magic and archive the ways we create as people of color, as oppressed peoples of the world.
That’s why I’ve been really interested in returning to different parts of Africa as a Black American and tuning into the spirit families there. I’m privileged enough to have finessed different ways to bring the Artkive to South Africa, East Africa and West Africa and really tune into the communities there that I found and I’m just hoping to find spaces to showcase this ArtKive in a safe way in the near future.”
“I’m mostly inspired by artists that are revolutionaries, that are radicals and that are actively creating in order to heal themselves and heal our communities from trauma of the oppressor…
As a future ancestor, I know that I’m gonna to leave this world knowing how to connect better, knowing how to create connections better and by ‘better’ I just mean – with more intention, with more clear forms of showing love and revolutionary ways of creating community. I want to leave this world feeling more free, with communities held together by the Earth and not held together by the system.
I want to help break down the system, in terms of having community return to Earth for support, for substances and food and comfort and love, so hopefully when I become an ancestor again in the future, the world will be more full of people of color – Black people specifically, Indigenous people – having the land back and holding that space for each other to heal and deprogram colonization from their minds.”