top of page

Not My Enemy

NME-Kehinde-shoulder.jpeg

Not My Enemy is a qualitative research project that uses storytelling, interviews, dance, and film to explore my journey of healing my relationship with my birth father—the man he had become after the Vietnam war. In addition, this project delved into the larger story of how war affects the generational development of families. 

My research began with questions such as, "What were the mental and emotional constraints African American veterans' grappled with as a consequence of fighting and surviving the Vietnam War?" And "what coping mechanisms did veterans use to reintegrate into society while rebuilding connection to family and community?" I explored books, articles, narrative film and documentaries on the Vietnam conflict and America's involvement in what would become known as "the war in Vietnam." 

However, finding Wallace Terry's book—Bloods—and listening to "soul music," which portrayed African American social and political thoughts, helped me to delve into the complicated and complex facets of life in and after the war. 

 

Combining the methodologies of narrative and phenomenological research, I grew my understanding of the trauma of war and its effects on my community and choreographed a dance built upon embodied somatic practices.

 

Somatic practice connects and integrates the mind and emotions with physical sensations allowing the dance artist to connect multi-faceted subject matters to powerful movement metaphors.

Bloods_bookCvr.jpg