ART & CULTURE
Imagine being in front of the center for national culture in Ghana on a bright sunny day in the 21st century and witnessing people being sold out into slavery in the same manner it took place centuries ago. What would go through your mind and what would you do?
13. August 2019
JOURNEYS TO THE SLAVE MARKET
Journey to the slave Market is a project initiated by Hamburg-based artist, Ekow Quagraine, and it depicts the sceneries of a slave trade in stark and shocking images. It is an open street performance which challenges people to think about what they need to do in order to correct disorders and crimes perpetrated in society. One would say that it is a very bold move for the Ghana-born artist, considering that in the present day, it is often a challenge to make bold statements publicly without any fear of intimidation.
In a quest to reinvent himself for self-introspection and reassessment as well as to historically contextualise and examine the many factors that contributed to the slavery of his forefathers, Ekow Quagriane initiated to be sold out as a slave himself, took off his clothes, put on chains and handcuffs. We asked him how he felt about the experience and his answer was:
“It was difficult in the beginning because it brought to memory all the atrocities my ancestors suffered. But I wanted to feel their pain, anguish and anxieties too.”
Despite the extreme conditions he subjected himself into, his message seemed to be coming across. He described the scene as deeply moving and the resonance from the observers and passerby as empathetic. In his words:
“I vividly remember some who offered to give me water, perhaps they realised that I was thirsty or might need it. I believe they were engaged in a discourse as to what we as people could do for ourselves and as well as finding the best alternatives to solving our problems collectively.”
With the street performance, Ekow Quagriane tries to demonstrate that a little impulse, a small action and a little bit from everyone can help in changing preconceptions and reshaping society.
How would you define injustice and do the factors which constitute injustice still influence today’s society? Send your replies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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