Departure and Arrival is a visual and poetic essay that chronicled the lives of Africans and African Americans in America. Beginning with the arrival of slave ships and spanning to present day immigration, the project honored the historical roots of African Americans while creating a tangible bridge between today’s native and foreign-born citizens. The performance ends with the arrival of an Nigerian immigrant who performs a libation ritual honoring the enslaved Africans that came before him.
Set in the San Francisco International Airport, Departure and Arrival takes place in both the ticketing area and in the architectural light wells of the International Terminal. Reminiscent of ship hulls, the light wells provided a subtext for the work’s narrative arc and projected images that included historical material as well as a live feed of the performers.
The performance was done in 30 minute cycles, repeated over two hours. Audiences, primarily travelers, moved in and around the work, while waiting for their next journey to begin.
Rachel Howard of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “The fascinating thing about Haigood's work is how it melds place and time, and Departure and Arrival is a journey through both.”
Choreography and Direction: Joanna Haigood
Set Design: Wayne Campbell
Composer: Walter Kitundu
Rigging Design: Sean Riley
Lighting Design: Jack Carpenter
Video Design: Ricardo Rivera
Ramon Ramos Alayo, Charles Dabo, Joanna Haigood, Robert Henry Johnson, Maurya Kerr, Noe Serrano, Shakiri, Raissa Simpson, Shereel Washington, Dwayne Worthington
San Francisco International Airport
Funders / Commissioners
Departure and Arrival was made possible with generous support from the San Francisco Grants for the Arts/Hotel Tax Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Bernard Osher Foundation, San Francisco International Airport, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Walter Alexander Gerbode Foundation
Photography: Stephen Phillips
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