Displacement: Kenneth Aidoo

What does it mean to experience and live a blend of cultures? Kenneth Aidoo (he/him) explores the idea of a sense of home.

‘Displacement’ is a project close to my heart as it’s taken from the perspective of me being born in the Netherlands and having Ghanaian roots. Growing up, I always had friends from Suriname. I never questioned our connection because, to me, we shared the same ethnic background. The Surinamese way of going about things was almost identical to what I’d been brought up with; so bonding and making friends was very easy.

‘Displacement’ has shown me that home, or the sense of home, always travels with us wherever we go. It’s in the culture and everyday customs that you take part in throughout your life that give you a sense of belonging.

Being born in a Ghanaian family in the Netherlands, and growing up with friends whose parents are Surinamese, is a force of nature. To embrace and understand events today, we need to delve into our history. The trans-Atlantic slave trade had a devastating impact and it continues to this day. The subject needs to be addressed instead of being overlooked as a thing of the past. It was a period when men, women and children were slaughtered or separated and subjected to servitude under extremely harsh conditions. No person should live their life that way.

No one is displaced out of choice, but people will always hold on to their culture and the free will to live how they want. As individuals, we carry ‘home’ with us, and constantly think about how to reach it.

— Kenneth Aidoo (he/his)

Follow Kenneth: @kennethjames