The life and legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois has long been a source of inspiration and influence for my artistic practice. As a Kenyan, Du Bois’ goal of seeking a place for Pan-Africanism in the world has a special resonance. This idea was one that he felt would bring solidarity among minorities around the globe, particularly Africans and Asians who sought to define their nations and selves in the wake of colonialism and imperialism. I am interested in Du Bois’ attempts to unify and emancipate African Americans and other minority groups through the social philosophies of Marx and Lenin. Particularly their critiques of capitalism. I am also interested in Du Bois' critique of the ways in which African-Americans were treated in the military during his lifetime and I want to personally explore this issue with regard to the position of queer people in the military systems of today. In The End I investigate his writing and his prose style, particularly the two voiced epigraph used in each chapter of “The Souls of Black Folk”. In “The Crisis” of October 1926 Du Bois stated in his essay “Criteria of Negro Art”, “I do not care a damn for any art that is not used for propaganda.” In this light, I engage with Du Bois in creating an artwork following in this theoretical framework
The poems on the banners were written by me, but are inspired by Du Bois' writing and thinking about social solidarity. They were most inspired by the story "The Comet", a story about the end of the world printed in "Darkwater".
The End also included a performance. The book was marched from the Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and in a procession where I held the book in my hands followed by members of the university colour guard and drum squad. We walked and collected people who gathered in the march. The march ended with the book being placed in the exhibition at the University Museum of Contemporary Art.