(By Afedzi Abdullah/ Isaac Arkoh, GNA)
Accra, June 19, GNA – More than 1,300 portraits of human heads depicting the brutalities that occurred during the Trans-Atlantic Chattel Trade have been installed in the dungeons of the Cape Coast Castle.
They are made up of pieces of collection of computerised ‘Nisso heads’, casted in concrete to metaphorically represent the multitudes of Ghanaians captured in the West Coast of Africa to the Americans and the Caribbean.
It also depicted the resistance that often resulted in merciless beatings and cell condiments of innocent men, women and children who did not willingly surrender to enslavers.
The exhibition was mounted during a mammoth durbar of Chiefs and Africans in the Diaspora on Saturday at the Cape Coast Castle.
It was to give visual historical artistic presentation as a cultural bridge for Africans in the Diaspora to honour their places of origin, promote understanding and create symbols of remembrance to the largest loss of Africa’s ancestry.
The programme was organised by Daniel Dunson, a Curator, in collaboration with Mr Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, a renowned artist and an award winner of the Kuenyehia Arts Prize for Contemporary Ghanaian in 2015.
The initiative formed part of an art novelty dubbed « Ancestors Project » aimed at honouring the name of the nation’s departed industrious children with arts and craft to promote national integration and cohesion.
The United States Embassy, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and the Association of African Americans are the implementing partners.
Speaking on the theme: « In memory: Portraits of the middle passage, in situ », Mr Akoto-Bamfo said he was inspired by the need to fill the historical gaps for people to metaphorically retrace their steps in history, starting with the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.
« Africa is a circle but it is missing her children who were taken away through several centuries of slave trafficking. This work attempts to help all of us to visualise the experience ».
The award winning Artist promised to organise periodic workshops and courses for local artists to further develop their talent and formalise it into a career and expose them to international styles of contemporary arts.
Later in the day, a fund raising ceremony was held to solicit funds to support the African Ancestors Project (AAP) and bring awareness to the arts works of the African and those in the Diaspora.
The participants were treated to a variety of indigenous African melodious dance, music, poetry recitals and a wonderfully re-enactment staged drama of the slave trade to rekindle their hopes and beliefs.
While showcasing the culinary artistry of Africa’s finest chefs, guests were also treated to a gastronomic dishes, telling a unique Africa’s culinary and cultural heritage dynamics.
The family style dinner offered an opportunity for art enthusiasts and Artists to engage, view, trade and invest in African arts.
The event was graced by many important dignitaries including Mr Kwamena Duncan, Central Regional Minister, Melina Tabler-Stone, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, and Nana Kobina Nkatsia V, Omanhen of Esikado Traditional Area.
Nana Kwame Adu I, Tufohen of Oguaa Traditional Area, students and a host of African from the Diaspora were also present.