top of page
deep inside im blue6 .jpg

Deep Inside I’m Blue - Featured at Inlight 2021

1708 Gallery’s 14th annual InLight took place November 12-13, 2021 at Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island, and nearby sites along the Virginia Capital Trail and Low Line in Richmond. This outdoor, two-night exhibition featured artwork that embraces light and sound through sculpture, installation, and performance. Great Shiplock Park is located at a former shiplock constructed as part of the James River and Kanawha Canal system. Projects engaged with and expanded upon the multiple themes and histories that can be found at these sites such as: trade and labor of then-enslaved peoples of African and Indigenous descent during and following the industrial revolution; the environmental impact—especially concerning water resources—of commerce and infrastructure; and the cultivation of spaces for alternative forms of historical preservation.

InLight 2021 was co-curated by Tiffany E. Barber, Wesley Taylor, and Park C. Myers.


Text by Project Collaborator: Haley Clouser, Curator


Through critical and thoughtful curation, the film Deep Inside I’m Blue by Adama Delphine Fawundu will honor the histories of enslaved people of African descent who once passed through the James River near Great Shiplock Park during the Transatlantic and intranational slave trades. Juxtaposed against this waterway and Richmond’s industrial infrastructure - sites where the trade, labor, and oppression of people of color occurred - Fawundu’s video installation will ultimately reformulate a space of cultural annihilation and historic violence into one of empowerment through its celebrated, intricate expression of African and African American culture.

Capturing scenes of Sierra Leone, Argentina, Harlem, Nigeria, Massachusetts, and upstate New York, Deep Inside I’m Blue collages scenes of cultures and landscapes rooted to Fawundu’s Mende and American heritage as well as the migratory patterns of her ancestors. Overlaid with percussive rhythms and lyrics from Mende spirituals and a sampling of Smokey Robinson’s song “Deep Inside I’m Blue,” the work cuts to different scenes including Fawundu smearing blue pigment down her face, the Mono River’s receding tide, an Argentinian carnival, pages of Mende scripture, desolate railroad stations, and the artist dressed in blue batik. This layering of various sounds and clips represents the merging of Fawundu’s familial cultural traditions, while also alluding to the oscillating embracement of African culture she witnessed around the world. The work not only demonstrates the artist’s intent to connect with her kin, specifically her grandmother of Sierra Leone, but it offers an expansive, complex understanding of experience for many who descend from the African Diaspora.

Deep Inside I'm Blue #1 and #2

at Crush Curatorial, NYC    


Deep Inside I'm Blue - Preview
bottom of page