Kibibi Ajanku makes and presents ethnically charged art. It is her joy to celebrate creativity in all forms. Her passion embodies the thrust of the movement of the African Diaspora. Kibibi’s Artistry is the ongoing and ever evolving effort of her life journey. The work is rich, diverse, and creative. It is ancient while at the same time cutting edge and always changing.
Ajanku’s projects include, but are not limited to, contemporary art and artifacts, performance art and visual art. Her undertakings are most often infused with music, movement, and folkways. Her work embodies research, identity, and the gathering of elements of African retention, in hopes of evoking intuitive memories that reach back into ancestral histories and stories that impact the here and the now.
This is Ajanku’s overarching vision; however, she is known most broadly for her connection to Sankofa Dance Theater. Sankofa is the Baltimore-based performance company noted as a dance and drum troupe that features creativity drenched in the traditions of the historical Mali Dynasty. Under Ajanku’s direction, the group shares joyous spirit by bringing movement and rhythm together in layered, interlocking patterns. They convey new-world choreography and texture on the shoulders of the old-world authentic traditions of Africa.
Since 1989, Ajanku’s major projects have been artistically curated to provide an audience experience steeped in imagery that is an electrifying, engaging, and informative journey to the exotic places. Elements of African tradition become the lens through which Ajanku examines the immense spirit of Africa through her work as a performing artist, a visual artist, and a curator.
The Baltimore arts community was the platform that nurtured Kibibi Ajanku’s passion for art, and started an artistic journey that began with the study of western forms of movement and training in the visual arts, and continued into an exploration, execution, and deep passion for ethnically charged art forms of all varieties. Ajanku attended Morgan State University, received and MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art, and is a Coppin State University Fine Arts Professor.
Ajanku has traveled the African Diaspora to study, teach and perform with many masters, and most recently spent time embedded in the Cuban arts and culture sector in the city of Havana. Much of her time there was spent entrenched in the dance, song and rhythm of the Orisha, as well as creating mosaic works inspired by the landscape. Ajanku believes that when presented properly, art is the perfect vehicle to move forward into greater intercultural awareness for the global community. As a result, she is continuously involved in programming that expands awareness, builds insight, and connects people.