‘Art is the language of the marginalized’: Student leaders on the origins of the Sankofa fashion show
, 2022-12-08 02:20:00,
The Akan word ‘Sankofa’ means “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.” Sankofa is often depicted as a mythical bird, with its neck turned backwards, even while it is flying forward. Naming the annual fashion event after this symbol encapsulates the experience of many people among the Black and African diaspora at Princeton: the metaphorical back-turned neck gives them a chance to look back at and engage in their cultures, even while in the Orange Bubble.
The board leaders of the Sankofa Fashion Show Committee, Anastasia Achiaa ’25 and Max Diallo Jakobsen ’24, along with designer Ayinde Bradford ’24, sat down with The Daily Princetonian to speak about the event.
The conversation below has been edited for length and clarity.
The Daily Princetonian: What is the history behind the creation of the Sankofa Fashion Show?
Max Diallo Jakobsen: Sankofa emerged because there were students that came together and wanted to create something, again, to celebrate African designers at Princeton.
Anastasia Achiaa: Sankofa is a word in the Akan tribe, which translates to “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.” The word also refers to the taking back and reclamation of our past, which was the blueprint of creating the…
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