To Those Before Me

Directed by
No items found.

360 video, dance performance, animation and more in an immersive voyage exploring the diaspora.

Drawing on traditions deriving from the Asante People of Ghana, To Those Before Me, is an immersive voyage exploring the diaspora through an improvised dance performance juxtaposed with mesmerising animations and an impactful soundtrack using 360 video technologies.

Anita Safowaa is a London-based interdisciplinary artist exploring her dual heritage in To Those Before Me (2021). The short film is multi-dimensional in its function of narrating Asante traditions. Within these traditions, both dance and music are used to uplift and heal, with specific hand movements and footwork serving as mediums to represent vast emotions. To Those Before Me is not only an immersive venture into 360-degree filmmaking but also an improvised dance and experimental animation film that visualises oral histories that are scarcely documented. Safowaa immortalises the Asante viewpoint and traditions through the vehicle of the dancer as she performs the Adora dance, a practice performed at funerals. The 360-mode of viewing and perspective allows the viewer to exist within the surreal state that Safowaa conjures within a virtual realm. Ultimately, To Those Before Me, contributes to widening the multiplicity of history behind dance and music through honouring the Asante perspective.

Anita Safowaa “After my first experimental short film, I was thinking more about ways of telling a story outside of creating a linear narrative. Also, I wanted my next work to be more immersive and to look at ways of engaging with the viewer more intimately. As I began to develop this direction, with many starting points with my ideas, I began observing the people around me. How I move and how others from a different cultural backgrounds move. This lead into a rabbit hole of questions which eventually got me thinking about way I dance and how dance varies generationally, culturally and geographically. With this as a starting point,  I explored how dance is used as a tool for communication within my Ghanaian heritage and specifically within the Asante ethnic group. Alongside this, thoughts of how evidence of such dance and life historically, is hard to find accounts of in institutional archives. Naturally, this idea lent itself nicely to the 360 video as it allowed me to show a contemporary take on traditional dances through live action but also allowed me re-imagine the contexts by which these dances were in through animation.”


Written and Directed by: @anita_safowaa

Executive Producer: @tinapulejkova (SPACE)

VR Producer: @eoliv

3D Artist: @joaquina.s

360 Camera: @vrvideographer

Production Assistant, Audio Recordist: @anaquiroga__

Editor: Arvin Pour, Daniel Brockwell

Video Colourist: Gabriele Cassia

Lighting: BluEmission

Tech support: Andrew Crowe

Assistant Director: @steph_amponsah

Dancer: @efiashemona

Soundtrack: @djdrumatik

Sound Mixing: Tommie Introna

Make up: Teryne Philip

Personal Archives: Isaac Yaw Addo

Commissioner for the BBC: Lamia Dabboussy