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Bulbancha Rise Up


Irosun Fun

 Videography: Fernando Lopez

A series of six art concerts/performances supported by VOQAL intertwined with Afro Indigenous sacred and powerful ritual communal workshops and works. This collective event series will literally shift energies in the environment, transform consciousness and self awareness, popularize and uplift Afro Indigenous cultural genius. The MAROONS BAND and SHOW will organize and stage ÒRÌṢÀ VUDU IFA HANDS ON REAL DEAL ritual workshops intertwined with fyayah live music and artistic performances to expand our cultural awareness and ability to solve the endemic problems of life that we face right now. The BULBANCHA RISE UP performances will include truth-telling about Voodoo heritage and history, truth-telling about the Maroon Freedom fighters, and art and music to therapeutically heal the pains of daily life here with uplifting cultural joy and fun.  BULBANCHA RISE UP is designed to impact the community on multiple levels all at once, in a profound manner that will help us to uplift our current social cultural and economic daily conditions by inspiring Sankofa driven actions and renewed ways of thinking about culture, language, daily living and who we are.

Welcome to the Bulchancha Rise Ups

Six Groundbreaking Events to Invoke Elemental Change


San Malo © M Akinlana

The BULBANCHA Maroons innovative strategies for survival and their enormous bravery have given us a blueprint in order for us to contribute to a more Collective cultural genius today that's going to work for the whole of our community and not just the remnants of colonized cultural concepts that actually result in a constant state of dysfunctional dangerous self-hatred and delusion for many.

The History - Sankofa Driven 

BULBANCHA ourstorically, had one of the largest populations of free Maroon/Quilombo societies per capita throughout the entire Caribbean and North America. Fearless Maroon leaders like Cecilia and San Malo took to the bayous and the bush to create their own mini states and live out their own liberational cultural concepts during the dark days of slavery. 

"Òṣóòsì” © M Akinlana

The Concept - Upliftment 

Personal and communal transformation through cultural awareness is the main goal of this BULBANCHA RISE UP

from the Healing Bèmbé for the World by Okomfo Sula Spirit & Baba Marcus Ṣàngódoyin Akinlana 

Culture dictates in most instances the way a person will think about the Divine universal; how life should be on planet Earth, how we should relate to other peoples and our entire environment, from interpersonal relationships to how and what we eat, and most importantly how and what we think, which in turn affects how and what we feel. This all dictates or heavily impacts how and what we DO, act and behave and what we will allow and strive for in our world, our homes and our families.

The Reason - Instability

BULBANCHA (Louisiana) has been overrun by foreign invaders and colonizers for over 300 plus years which has resulted in it becoming one of the most destabilized, murderous and incarcerated places in North America. As a result, we have lived our entire lives in a culture where Afro and Indigenous problem solving and life guiding mechanisms and technologies are relegated far to the back of the bus. Despite that, the people of BULBANCHA have become legendary for being able to preserve some of the Indigenous and African survival mechanisms and cultural retentions in the face of the greatest opposition, which is why this place still remains vibrant in these times.

African Liberation Day
© M Akinlana

Since the cultural/political concept of Louisiana has been brutally and violently imposed over the cultural entity of pre-existing Indigenous Bulbancha, the colonizing forces of this Society have worked Non-Stop to keep a Eurocentric worldview lens fastened over the eyes and minds of this entire population in order that any and every problem that we face in life will only be tackled through the view allowed and presented by that limited Eurocentric worldview Looking Glass.  This applies to all of our cultural paradigms, deep seated beliefs and how we relate to our beloved River delta Bayou environment, race, ethnicity, human beings and human bodies, language and linguistics, gender relations and concepts, animals, food and agricultural practices, liberation versus incarceration, education and socialization and the so called criminal justice system.

 All the while, Afro and Indigenous communities here are tragically, repeatedly, and endemically exposed to destabilizing forces of Eurocentric miseducation, criminal colonized religious concepts, neighborhood destabilization, skull dodgery, murder, mayhem, and governing societal policies that contribute to economic and cultural impoverishment. In addition, deep-rooted sustained anti Black anti Indigenous hateful cultural concepts that are societally entrenched add fuel to the fire of the endemic social problems that we face from one generation to the next. Sadly, these debilitating cultural vectors are universally encouraged and proliferated in the commercialized capitalistic Euro American - Black popular culture in many aspects. Ultimately this disorienting colonized culture tends to leave the majority of the people feeling beleaguered and bewildered as to why these intergenerational problems seem to plague us continually and without seeming end.

The Maroons

The Goal - Reclamation

BULBANCHA RISE UP is designed to impact the community on multiple levels all at once, in a profound manner that will help us to uplift our current social cultural and economic daily conditions by inspiring Sankofa driven actions and renewed ways of thinking about culture, language, daily living and who We are.

The RISE UP events we provide space within community for communal gathering and healing with ritual work through music and art. These events will provide spaces to allow this conversation to begin and expand and showcase traditional ways Africans and Indigenous peoples have utilized the sacred to survive and thrive. It is meant to give an opportunity for Africans in BULBANCHA to reclaim their ancestral traditions, so they can equip themselves with the necessary tools to carve a future within communities towards a better tomorrow. Understanding that through self-empowerment and reclamation of ancestral tools, we have the power to change our own destinies towards a better future is the first step towards healing from within. Having community healing events allows individuals facing life challenges to gain strength from the collective and understand that they are not alone in dealing with these issues.

The Beginning 

The first work completed after the intense, initial conceptualizing of the BULBANCHA RISE UP was Baba Marcus Ṣàngódoyin Akinlana submitting for the 2023 VOQAL FELLOWSHIP for further support and training for this monumental event series. 

African Family Life © M Akinlana

After being selected as a VOQAL Fellow for 2023 the next step in building THE BULBANCHA RISE UP was casting DÁFÁ (SACRED IFA DIVINATION) and completing ẸBỌ - SACRIFICES to seek guidance from the IRÚNMỌLÈ {AFRO INDIGENOUS DIVINITIES & ANCESTORS} for a blueprint on how to conduct the BULBANCHA RISE UP events successfully. That DÁFÁ was completed on April 2nd 2023 at ILE ẸKỌ ÀṢÀ YORÙBÁ ni NEW ORLEANS BULBANCHA. The ẸBỌ was completed at the OJÚBỌ AJAGUN ÒRÌṢÀ {SHRINES} on April 16th 2023 assisted by Alejo (Trainees). Simultaneously, envisioning and planning sessions were held by the core team members to further solidify the impacts of these events.

Then we conducted an intimate gathering of the organizers and a few valiant supporters for prayer, songs and video to kick off the soft opening of The Bulbancha Rise Up at Ile Ẹkọ Àṣà Yorùbá ní New Orleans - Bulbancha on May 15th 2023.

The Results


Promo for the Events

Saturday, August 19th, 7pm
in Gentilly Terrace on People's Ave Green Space 
between Mirabeau & Carnot St
Honoring Our Elders - 
Fire Cleansing Ritual
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Sunday, August 6th, 1pm

Congo Square at Armstrong Park
701 North Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Prayers in Many Tongues
Saturday, July 8th,
New Orleans
African American Museum

1417-1418 Governor Nicholls St
Reclaiming the Land
- Tree Planting

Good Reading 


This project is supported by


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