Two best friends set out to explore Africa. Forty years, 300,000 miles, and 45 countries later, their vast and visually stunning archive, on photo and film, of the daily life, the rituals and ceremonies of over 200 African cultures is helping preserve these ancient traditions. As women, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher were granted unprecedented access to witness and document sacred rites and ceremonies. They note: “We feel privileged to photograph these cultures that possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared, and honored. It is our life’s passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of life for future generations.” We’ll hear the stories that go with the images in their slide show presentation.Paul and I attended their museum exhibit “African Twilight”, and among their many books of photography is African Ceremonies, their defining body of work, a double volume, pan-African study of rituals and rites of passage from birth to death, covering 93 ceremonies from 26 countries. This book won the United Nations Award for Excellence for “vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace.”As an intrepid team of explorers, they are committed to preserving sacred tribal ceremonies and African cultural traditions all too vulnerable to the trends of modernity.
They will be joined by African American academician Dr. Kellie Kirksey, an internationally renowned keynote speaker and holistic psychotherapist, who has trained mental health professionals in the areas of group facilitation, multiculturalism/diversity, social justice, holistic wellness, alternative healing, cognitive restructuring and more for over 25 years with, clarity, passion, authenticity and humor. Dr. Kirksey is the founder of Creative Wellness Solutions, LLC which seeks to cultivate global peace and harmony.