A scene of an in-process play elicits an audience response tying the present to the here and near future. A play to be written, foreshadowing a dark future, is anticipated by the present. Drawing on some of my experiences grappling with histories which continue into the present, as presented in ethnographic data, Edu thinks about the role the arts can play in predicting what is to come, making space for that exploration and galvanization for change. She also begins to think about the possibilities for this collaboration to produce a different kind of ethnographic methodology.
Ugo F. Edu is a medical anthropologist working at the intersection of medical anthropology, public health, black feminism, and science, technology, and society studies (STS). Using interdisciplinary approaches, her scholarship focuses on reproduction, race, gender, aesthetics, and body knowledge and modifications. Her book project: Beauty and the Black: Aesthetics, Race, and Sterilization in Brazil, traces the influence of an economy of race, aesthetics, and sexuality on reproductive and sterilization practices of women in Brazil. She is working on a play, Securing Ties, which draws heavily on her book project as a means for critical public engagement and an incorporation of the arts in her scholarship.