Despite having played a fundamental role in the anti-slavery struggle and identity construction of the African diaspora in the Americas, marronnage is still poorly understood. Marronnage is the mother of communities that wrested themselves free of slavery and proclaimed their sovereignty in the new world. These communities of runaway slaves were dotted all around the Americas, from Louisiana, to Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, Brazil, the two Guianas, amongst others. »Obia« is originally an Akan word, specifically attributed to the Fanti. It points to a belief system developed by Maroon peoples since their arrival from West Africa. The Obia photographic project – undertaken in the historical Maroon territories of Saamaka-Land and Maroni-Land, in both Suriname and French Guiana – seeks to interrogate the links between the exceptional magical-religious legacy of Maroon people and the new challenges that stem from modernity: intergenerational conflict, loss of references, unemployment and rural migration.
This book is part of Lo Calzo’s long-term photographic project Cham about the living memories of colonial slavery and anti-slavery struggles. Nicola Lo Calzo (b. 1979 in Turin) lives and works in Paris. His work has been exhibited in France and in other countries.