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A Call and Response Below the Surface

February 17, 2024 - May 26, 2024 Created by Kemi Craig, Artist In Residence with the City of Victoria, in partnership with Hololabs and supported by the AGGV.

Afroquatics: A Call and Response Below the Surface is an immersive and interactive installation that will spark conversations, challenge perceptions, and transport viewers into an experiential underwater landscape. This installation pulls inspiration from African spiritual practices of Orisha, the little-known history of expert freedivers that existed throughout coastal communities in West Africa, and underwater worlds imagined by many artists and storytellers of the African diaspora such as electronic music duo, Drexciya. Through curiosity and contemplation participants will be introduced to the intersection of ancient wisdom, modern technology, and speculative narratives. By reimagining the stories of the past, we can craft empowering understandings that heal our present and move into our futures.

This artwork has been created by Kemi Craig as part of her City of Victoria Artist Residency.  

Greater Victoria Public Library has created a reading list for those interested in learning more about the topics covered in the exhibition:
What to Read After Visiting AGGV’s Afroquatics Exhibition

Please be aware:

  • Sights and sounds in the augmented reality component of this exhibition could be overwhelming for some.
  • Content explores imagined identities of enslaved Africans who died during the Middle Passage and their relations to descendants today. We ask that you approach the work with respect for their lives and their loved ones.  


Kemi Craig (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working through dance and media based here in the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories. Through her lived experience as a woman of African descent, Kemi’s art utilizes movement, materiality and new media to center experiences for people with racialized and gendered bodies. She is inspired by Black history and Afrofuturism, dance that expresses and augments what we do every day, DIY culture and by visual histories and pop cultural production.

Kemi is a graduate from the Emily Carr University of Art Design with a Masters degree in Fine Art. Since graduating she has exhibited and performed through local arts centers as well as across BC and Canada. Her film and video work has been exhibited at local galleries such as Legacy Art Gallery, Flux Gallery, the Ministry of Casual Living as well as the Victoria International Film Festival and Antimatter Media Arts Festival. She has worked with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Xchanges Gallery as an artist educator/mentor and curator. For the past three years, Kemi has been the Artist in Residence with Dance Victoria and currently works for the city of Victoria as the Artist in Residence.

Image Credits: Installation Image, Courtesy of Hololabs | Kemi Craig - Diving Elvis's, digital print, 2023 | Installation Digital Still, Courtesy of Hololabs | Kemi Craig Photo - Courtesy of the artist
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