‘I Ran From It And Was Still In It’ is adapted from Darkwater, a 1920 collection of autobiographical essays from W. E. B. Du Bois.
Over the course of three ambitious albums, Berlin-based artist Lamin Fofana is translating the writing of pioneering black authors Sylvia Wynter, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Amiri Baraka into immersive collages of field recordings, archival material and ambient composition.
Arriving on his recently launched label Black Studies, the first of these albums, Black Metamorphosis, was released last year. Taking Sylvia Wynter’s unpublished manuscript of the same name as inspiration, the album was an interrogation of what happens when African aesthetics are transplanted to the West.
For the follow-up, Lamin Fofana has turned his attention to legendary Black writer, academic, activist and the first African American to earn a doctorate, W. E. B. Du Bois. ‘I Ran From It And Was Still In It’ is taken from Fofana’s adaptation of Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil, a 1920 collection of autobiographical essays and speculative fiction. The track’s title comes from a line lifted directly from a poem by the philosopher and poet Fred Moten.
The literary work sees Du Bois reflecting on white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, beauty and democracy, and provides an especially timely focal point for the album. A passage from the collection can be read on at Bandcamp.