• Community through Trauma

    Lindsay Tan, Taneshia W. Albert (see profile)
    Research, Learning and scholarship, Interior architecture, Historic buildings, Culture, Photography, Artistic
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    The Slave House on Gorée Island serves as an important architectural artifact to those identifying within the Black diaspora. In this creative scholarship, the authors present a visual exploration of The Door of No Return, through the lens of the primary author, a Black scholar with African ancestry. Reflecting on the symbolic significance of this journey, and through visual and verbal narratives, the authors will engage in a performative exploration of identity and community development passed to subsequent generations through the shared historical trauma (Brave Heart, et.al, 2016) and cultural memory (Ciocea & Cârlan, 2015) of this living monument to the public memory of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (Ciocea & Cârlan, 2015). The Door of No Return acts as a sacred place that connects those in the black diaspora whose families have carried historical trauma for generations. The building materials of the structure act as a witness to the realities of each experience and hold the last bit of humanity of those who would live and die within the middle passage. Standing in the doorway, I could understand the want and need of scholars and activist of this shared ancestry to define a community outside negative racial constructs, but based in African iconography in the few places that historically reflected self and the interconnectedness of the historical trauma felt in the diaspora. The threshold of The Door of No Return was their first step into becoming something different and thus the beginnings of this new and unique community who replanted their identity as Black. For me, standing on this step was as if I were reliving the past and feeling the movements of each being that inhabited the space before me. This passage is the point of fracture where human beings were stripped of their home, community and identity, all phenomenologically central to a sense of belonging.
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    Last Updated:
    11 months ago
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