Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are


The African proverb “ubuntu (uu-boon-tuu, Nguni-Bantu),” meaning humanity towards others, served as the cornerstone for Tijay Mohammed’s residency project, Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are. Anchored in West African culture and traditions, the project focused attention on the South Bronx’s connection to migration and created a gathering space at the Kelly Street Collaborative to celebrate women, particularly those living within the community. Primarily using African wax fabric and incorporating other assorted materials and objects, participants created mixed-media portraits in tribute to loved ones, neighbors, and other women in their lives. Stories were shared throughout the process and captured through audio and visual documentation to accompany the portraits.

Meet the Artist

Ahmed Tijay Mohammed

Ghanaian-born artist Tijay Mohammed has exhibited his works national and internationally, including features at Katonah Museum of Art NY, Hudson River Museum NY, Materials for the Arts NY, Art League Huston, Longwood Art Gallery NY, Green Drake Art Gallery PA, and The National Museum of Ghana.