Manifesting Identities:

Memory, Myth and Legacy in African America

Emmanuel Nwandu
Bachelor of Architecture

Advised by:
Samantha Stern-Leaphart
Mary-Lou Arscott
Heather Bizon
Dick Block
Hal Hayes

Studio coordinated by Heather Bizon and Sarah Rafson

Themes: Narrative | Identity | Culture

This B.Arch Thesis will evoke a set of narratives rendered through image, text and performance, aiming to speculate on the future, by grounding itself in an interrogation and re-imagining of past and present. The project is framed as a retrospective uncovery of history - allowing for speculation across time and a representation of the in/tangible connections between people and place. Using the fictional site of the Colored Museum that deals with identity - personal, collective, social and relational - as a theoretical basis, this project proposes an alternate institution which will embody the memory, myth and legacy of our histories and identities - a place for critical discourse, the production and presentation of work to propel us towards reconciliation. Beginning with an inquiry into various works of literature from contemporary writers on the topic of identity and race relations, the project is of the position that restorative inquiry into the past and crafting of imagined futures is necessary to facilitate progress that is both exploratory and grounded. While engaging in a process of translational writing and drawing, a set of parafictional scenarios will be developed to offer critique on the present moment and speculation on the future.