SI HENE: Preserving the history of the Chieftaincy Archives
Si Hene means “enstoolment" in Akan. It serves as a source to bring forth the cultural heritage of the chieftaincy archives of Ghana. Looking through photographic and cinematographic documents provides a more in-depth perspective and preserves the legacy of the individuals that once ruled from the 1800s to the modern-day. The primary goal of Si Hene is to preserve Ghana's historical archives, which are focusing on the chieftaincy founded in many of the regions, and to make the archives accessible to the people of Ghana and the world both digitally and in person.
Rita Mawuena Benissan is a Ghanaian interdisciplinary artist and founder of Si Hene. She was raised in America for 20 years. Her art and research celebrate African and Black Aesthetic while exploring her cross-cultural background and identity as both an African and an American woman. Benissan considers herself a narrative photographer that engages with the mediums of painting, printmaking, and textiles, to explore the narrative of being Black. She also loves being able to see the family lineages that are connected with the kings, Chiefs and Queen mothers.