The Arrival Personal Legacy Project (APLP) was a touring workshop series designed and led by former Urban Ink artistic director Diane Roberts.
The aim of APLP was to facilitate creation through the exploration of artists’ own personal ancestry: to bring participants into alignment with their own authentic cultural-historic bodies, to explore and unleash the knowledge, history, and legacies carried within, and to engage these as the basis for subsequent character development and creative work. Diane Roberts initiated APLP having witnessed the profound disconnect that so many racialized artists in Canada feel about themselves, their environment, and their cultural histories as a result of migration, colonization, and the forces of assimilation. As a physical/dramaturgical process based on a combination of West/Central African dance, ritual, and story traditions, Arrivals supported performers in (re)connecting with their ancestors, histories, and stories. As an artistic practice of decolonization and part of the global social movement of reclaiming cultural identity, APLP challenges the notion of immigration as a process through which identity must be stripped away and a new cultural skin put on. Rather, it empowers minoritized artists and communities to draw on ancestry and lineage as a source of creative strength.
“The Arrivals Personal Legacy Project has been a profound tool for uncovering & decolonizing my own artistic practice. It is a laboratory approach for artistic production, an unconventional dramaturgical process, and a way of actively investigating the role of artists in community development” – Diane Roberts
The Arrivals Personal Legacy (APL) Project toured extensively across Canada, as well as in Europe, West Africa, the Caribbean and South America, and continues to be developed independently under the coordination of Diane Roberts.