Martina Nalunkuma | The Cruelty of the Moon
Red blood cells are long-lived, magical things designed to carry oxygen from our lungs to therest of our body’s cells. But for people like me, inheritors of the sickle cell gene, our redblood cells are misshapen. Instead of looking like a doughnut they look like a little redcrescent, a sort of blood moon, and they last just two or three weeks before suddenly self-destructing.
These misshapen little cells get stuck together in clumps inside the blood vessels and canblock the flow of blood instigating severe pain. This is known as a crisis and can even causeorgan damage. Cold weather can cause crises, as can high altitudes. It’s a daily battle, eventhough from the outside everything appears normal.
This project explores the pain that comes with having these bloody crescents, and it exploresthe healing and grace that are the other side of the coin. Scars transmute into art, whileresilience becomes a means beyond fighting, rather agency. Making is more precious when itis an act of opposition and negotiation. Like the moon we must all go through phases ofdarkness as well as light.