work in progress

Kandaka’ is a three-part installation consisting in a room-scale short film projection, a virtual reality experience, and a 3d-printed monument of Amanirenas (from 40bc)—a one-eyed warrior and ancient Kandaka (meaning royal and/or revolutionary woman) of the Kushite Empire’s last capital, Meroe, now a UNESCO world heritage site in modern day Sudan. She controlled commerce on the Nile and defeated Augustus’ Roman forces who attempted to gain control of the region. The installation is being developed with game engine technology and features extremely precise, geo-referenced ruins from the major archaeological sites in Kerma, Napata, and Meroe, all reconstructed in 3D with photogrammetry. This installation is conceived as a form of emancipatory thought and resistance to historic erasure of Nubian history, reclaiming Amanirenas’ strength, legacy, and future potentialty.

supported in part by

Sundance Institute
National Endowment for the Humanities
Sundance Institute and NEH’s Humanities Sustainability Fellowship
Forum des Images
Venice Film Festival’s Gap-Financing Market
Black Public Media

selected stills 


Experimental & Emancipatory Storytelling

@ahhslay @ferenjvr

copyright 2023