Sankofa is a term of the Akan in Twi and Fante and means “retrieve” (literally “go back and get”; san – to return; ko – to go; fa – to fetch, to seek and take). Sankofa also refers to the Bono Adinkra symbol, which is represented either with a stylised heart shape or with a bird whose head is turned backwards while its feet point forward and an egg carried in it’s mouth. The egg in the mouth represents the value of the knowledge of the past which wisdom is based upon; it also represents the coming generation who will benefit from this wisdom.

Sankofa for us is the space of our stories and memories, the space of our historical lens to provide a better understanding and an analysis of present social conditions. To remember helps us to develop perspectives for the future and, at the same time, to become capable of acting in the here and now. Past, present, and future are placed in relation to each other: retrospection becomes prospection. Hereby, the non-linear, interwoven, simultaneous, cross-generational and cross-communal is a vital aspect. Remembering and passing on memories does not only serve the purpose of not forgetting, but also to draw strength, inspiration and ultimately hope from these memories.  

“How can we secure the various historical bodies of experience of resistance and liberation movements, learn from them, but also constructively critique them in order to change our own practice?” – Excerpt from Passing it On announcement