Can a pious life transcend the colonial control over black women's bodies? Who has access to freely travel and record their lived experiences? Using excerpts from Teresa Chikaba’s hagiography Compendio de la Vida Ejemplar de la Venerable Madre Sor Teresa Juliana de Santo Domingo (1752), and George Bernard Shaw’s The Black Girl in Search of God (1932), consecutively, Feliz points to markers of agency.
With literacy strictly prohibited for slaves of the Spanish empire, it is unlikely that Chikaba wrote her own journal which is cited as a main source for her hagiography; and Shaw, an Irish man, writes a travel adventure novel from the perspective of an African woman. These two stories meet at a crossroads with webcam portraits and self made nature-esque documentaries made in the confines of the artist’s home.
Mensaje Para Escribiente / Message for a Scribe, 2016, Single channel video (color, sound), 4:17mins