February 2022 – Souls and Ancestors in the Land of Ghana

In February 2022, #RadDeathReads celebrated Black History Month in the States by exploring souls and ancestors in Ghana – a country where on Fridays and Saturdays most are dressed in black and red to signal grieving because weekends are for funerals. In honor of our inaugural 2022 Rad Death Travels, this February Rad Death Reads focused solely on Ghana, the land of gold and intricately beautiful wooden masks – a carving tradition that is thousands of years old. This #RadDeathReads was curated by Dr. Kami Fletcher.

Through an expert guest speaker, curated learning materials, and one award-winning film, we will learn about what certain ethnic groups, such as the Akan believed (and still believe) about ancestors and souls. Our in depth and closed-circuit conversations will engage deeply with Marleen de Witte’s Long Live the Dead! Changing Funeral Celebrations in Asante, Ghana. We explore these beliefs and also relate them to how death work practices and last rites rituals have been altered, disappeared and/or continue despite the Middle Passage, European colonization and COVID-19. 

WEEK 1 (Feb. 5 & 6): 
Spirits and the Hereafter in Africa

WEEK 2 (Feb. 12 & 13): 
From Dancing Pall Bearers to Contemporary Funeral Directors in Ghana

WEEK 3 (Feb. 19 & 20): 
Fantasy Coffins of Ghana

WEEK 4 (Feb. 26 & 27): 
The Spirit World: Ancient Death Beliefs in the Contemporary Society

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