Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The People Could Fly Project Begins


This is the 200th Anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave Trade

You’ve got to look to your ancestors and Remember What you were given”

-Abbey Lincoln

God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be.”

- Marcus Garvey

Believe that your presences are strong, O be convinced without formula or rhyme or any dogma; use yourselves: be: fly.”

- Muriel Rukeyser

This project is an Exploration of themes within and outside of Virginia Hamilton's children’s book "The People Could Fly". It will take place over the span of three summer months, and after to the end of December.








5 sisters will travel 3 continents: North America (cities & Towns),

Africa (Ghana), and South America (Brazil, Jamaica) documenting the Life, Love Movement and Dreams of young people and children of the African Diaspora. They will be using Video, Storytelling, Photography, Dance, Writing, and the very act of Flight to tell the stories of the young people of the African Diaspora


Because we have belief in the past and in the future, we choose to document and put faith in the NOW. Based in Virginia Hamilton’s children’s book "The People Could Fly" we are exploring movement, magic, flight, and dreams.

As children we read this book full of amazing storytelling and illustration. In Virginia Hamilton’s book there is magic that exists. All you have to do is remember the magic words.

Once the slaves remembered and spoke the magic words of their ancestors they were able to fly

and escape the confines of the plantation, something they thought impossible. As young black females,

we are uncovering our lives and LIFE,

realizing that what was once impossible such as the notion of


is now very real.

We can fly.

We are able to move in the world. To know that so many young black people have this opportunity

when at one time it was thought to be impossible is amazing. We are discovering the world, love, movement, and the many mysteries of living. We are remembering the magic language of our people, which is universal.

We are traveling through space and time to Africa, South America, and through the United States taking with us the story of "The People Could Fly"

and its idea of endless possibilities. We are collecting and telling stories,

good, bad, and exciting through dance, song, picture, writing, and cinema. Once we have collected and transformed the lives and experiences of ourselves and the people we meet and share with there will be a documented video of our journey interplayed with dream like tales.

This is a process. WE invite you, your family, and all you know interested to be documented and to take part.

We are telling OUR stories.

We will be flying in the states the month of June and traveling internationally July and August. Nowhere is too far or too small. We are honestly documenting

People. And creating along the way!

We are and some things we will find:


Dream Weavers




Filmmakers for Cinema

Mississippi folk


Black People




T.V. Watchers

Students of Seduction

Mad Geologists

Stylish Mo-Fos


Doctors of Dumb






Spiritual Being

True Believers




All of these things and None of them

About Us

- Intisar Abioto: 21

Dancer Photographer Writer

Intisar Abioto is currently attending Wesleyan University. Her concentrations are in Photography, Dance, and English. As a child Intisar was an avid reader. This past summer she traveled to Senegal with a group of photographers.

Heading up photography and dance

- Hanifah Abioto: 20

Hairdresser Singer Artist

Hanifah Abioto is currently attending The Beauty Institute in Memphis. She has attended such educational institutions as Dillard University and Eugene Lang in New York City. Though she enjoyed her time at these institutions she decided that she wanted to become a connoisseur and producer of Skin Care and homeopathic products.

- Amenta Abioto: 15

Theatrical Actress in Training

Natural Medicine Woman

High School Student

Amenta Abioto is currently attending Miss Hall’s Boarding School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Though she wants a great education she misses home and the South very much.

She loves rock, R&B music, and reinventing her style.

- Kalimah Abioto: 20


Student of People

Dancer in Training

Kalimah Abioto currently attends Hollins University. She has hopes of studying film at a vigorous/ fun institution. She wants to create movies and film that speaks to people. She is currently studying the art of seduction and flirtation.

Kalimah will be heading up the filming and dream segments of the project

-Aisha Abioto: 7

Sage Lover of Animals

Town Crier

Aisha Abioto is a first grader in Ms. Owens’ class. She is fervently waiting to get her first dog. She likes to sing songs to herself.

4 Phases of Project Travel

There will be four phases of the project. In each, we will travel a different continent.

The first phase will take place in the United States, the second in Ghana, the third in the U.S again, and the fourth and last in Brazil.

We will travel and stay with family and friends that we have previously connected with or those who have expressed want in being apart of the project.

We will have connected with these new friends through Internet communities, friends of friends, or through direct connection.

Communication and technology will be a key entity in the execution of The People Could Fly Project because all five sisters will not always be at the same place all at one time.

Therefore, technology is another grand facet of this undertaking. Not only will the documentation of the progress of the project be kept through video but also through Internet, email, phone, text, and other forms of technology.

Phase I: Bay Area (L.A, San Francisco, Oakland), Philadelphia, Memphis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Atlanta, Greenville, MS

Phase II: Ghana, Accra

Phase III: New York, Miami, Chicago, rural Areas, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Detroit

Phase V: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Sau Paulo, Salvador

Filming: There are two parts of the filming process

Part I consists of the documentation of travels, people, and music.

Part II consists of the storytelling of dreams and reality of the young people we encounter. The main themes within part II will consist of themes within "The People Could Fly" and recurring issues throughout the Diaspora such as freedom, suffering, magic, dreams, and liberating one’s self. These will be submersed in the Part I so that in every region there will be a representation of someone’s dream as well as short tales representing themes throughout the story.

The filming will at times be very impromptu. Our aim is not to do regular interviews or film shoots. It is to literally utilize all of the senses to their max to explain the lives and dreams of these young people we come in contact with and therefore pointing a finger in the direction of our future infused with promise and hope. We will conduct these filming experiments while in these cities and towns that we travel through. Inspiration will literally be given through the people we meet, the grand stories we hear, and the dreams that are spoken.


Ghana Phase 1 will take place in the month of June. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence from Britain. We will be connecting with the Joseph Project that seeks to connect Africans around the world with their respective homeland. The kickoff will take place in July. Friends will set up housing for us (5 sisters). However, we will contact a travel agency for assistance in location scouting for homes, places to visit, and just as a viable source for assistance. We plan to have Ghanaian family friends so that we are connected to a family structure while in Ghana. The University of Ghana will be an important contact place as we are all students and we will be able to connect with young people, professors, and a solid organization while there. There will be opportunity to rent out entertainment halls to showcase a choreographed dance storytelling of "The People Could Fly", show footage and photography, and to connect and share stories of life with young Ghanaians and vise versa. At the end of June or beginning of July we will depart from Ghana.


Because Brazil is such a beautiful country filled with much mysticism, spirit, youth, and a diverse mix of African descended people we have chosen to explore and visit this country.

We are available for dance storytelling performances of the The People Could Fly through woven motion and voice performed by Intisar Abioto. We are also seeking relevant places along our path to visit in addition to youth groups and establishments in support of youth. We are also simply seeking families with youth that would be interested in engaging and sharing in this process.

Contact Info



Kalimah Abioto- Film director

Intisar Abioto- Conceptualizer

Consultant: Arnold Adoff- Poet, Author, Husband of Virginia Hamilton