Ancestral Uprising is an augmented reality art installation by one of the world’s leading Afrofuturists, Quentin VerCetty. The work recognizes the current Black Lives Matter movement, while serving as a call to look beyond the past and present, to envision the value of Black futures.

View Ancestral Uprising*

Each element in the piece has meaning. The inclusion of gold references the value of Black Lives. Ancient scripts and designs from the Ndebele people of Southern Africa speak of resilience and determination. The designs are inspired by patterns seen in Wakanda (a fictional country appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics)  and offer a nod to the late African American actor Chadwick Boseman who played King T’Challa in the Oscar-winning film “Black Panther”. Cosmology from the ancient Dogon people incorporates the historical use of stars and constellations across the African diaspora, summoning the lore of enslaved African Americans using the Drinking Gourd (Big Dipper) to navigate to freedom.

Awakenings Reflections: Behind the Scenes Discussions

Quentin VerCetty sits down with Dr. Mark Campbell to discuss his work with Elders that inspire his designs, his vision for valuing Black futures and his intervention of “counter monuments.”

Watch it on YouTube

Quentin VerCetty

Winner of the Joshua Glover Memorial competition in Toronto, Quentin VerCetty is an award-winning multi-disciplinary storyteller, educator and one of the world’s leading Afrofuturists. With a Bachelors in Fine Arts from OCAD University and a Masters Degree in Art Education from Concordia University, Quentin’s work focuses on the inclusion of people of African descent in the public sphere for the future. His work aims to educate about connectivity and has been shown worldwide.

Mark V. Campbell

DJ, scholar and curator. Mark V. Campbell’s research explores the relationships between Afrosonic innovations and notions of the human.


* Supported on mobile devices only.

** Content posted on “Ancestral Uprising” as part of the Awakenings program operates under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, sustainability, advocacy and storytelling. The content, views and opinions expressed are those of the individual story teller/presenter/producer and does not necessarily represent the City of Toronto’s views or opinions or an endorsement of such views or opinions by the City of Toronto. Any content provided on “Ancestral Uprising” is not designed or intended to constitute medical advice. The City of Toronto is not responsible for any legal claims, costs, damages, liabilities, or obligations arising from the use or misuse of any content presented or filmed as part of the Awakenings program. The City of Toronto does not guarantee or warrant the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information presented or filmed as part of the Awakenings program.

Community Partner

Media Partner

Black Raptors Basketball on White Background
Black and white logo of Elmnt FM radio