English | Ghanaian

Tanoa Sasraku-Ansah.jpg

I identify as a gay, half English, half Ghanaian, cis woman.
I am a 22 year old, practicing, visual artist who currently works in film and sculpture. I have just graduated from the BA Fine Art course at Goldsmiths Uni and am on the common quest of trying to make London work for me! 
My Mum is from Plymouth, Devon and my late Dad was from a small coastal town in Ghana, called Senya Beraku. 
Hair played a big part in my understanding of the fact that I definitely wasn’t white, even though in some sense, I felt that I was. My mum dry-brushing through my curls before school and pulling my hair into plaits to control it from age 4 or 5. Lots of tears! 
I very much swing between feeling like a powerful mixed-race woman and a bit of an ugly duckling, as a result of entrenched ideas that I have about my race. This must feed into all of the relationships that I’ve had with others in some sense. 
Inner cities like London and super diverse, especially with regard to mixed race people…we’re everywhere! However, I still fear for the counties that do not contain London or Birmingham or Manchester. It shapes your view of the world in an incredibly warped way when you grow up with no reference point for your identity. My mission, through my art practice is to be able to connect with BME and BME LGBT young people and to show them that, yes it is hard, you’ll feel like you’re completely alone, but through the pain that you’ll feel growing up in places like Devon and Cornwall, you can create something really powerful and potent. These places are never going to be hyper-diverse, but we can educate white people on what language to use and not to use and to understand the concept of privilege. We can encourage white people to police each others’ behavior in order for them to make our lives a little less painful when we are forced to exist as minorities, through no choice of our own.