Exhibition on slavery underway at Elmina Castle

The Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, and the Zeeuws Archief, Netherlands, has opened an exhibition on slavery at the Elmina Castle in the Central Region to tell the story of slavery and the struggles for freedom.


It combines text, audio-visual and physical objects to vividly narrate the story. The event is on the theme: "Resistance and resilience: Narratives from Northern Ghana and Zeeuws Archief," with two sub themes - "Slavery resistance narratives in Northern Ghana: Every human being is a human being," and "Trans-Atlantic slave trade: The unity and freedom's narratives from the Zeeland archives".

The exhibition, which is being organised with support from the Netherlands Embassy and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), would end in October this year.


The event exemplifies a shared commitment to preserve and honour historical narratives that shape society's understanding of the past. It tells the narratives of people of Sankana, Sandema, Salaga, Gwollu, Nalerigu and Pikworo communities and the impact of the slave trade on those communities.

The exhibition would help patrons reflect on the stories and renew their commitment to honour the resilience and resistance of those who endured the adversities of the slave trade.

It is also expected to inspire all to strive towards a future of justice, equality and respect for all.

Global discourse

The Director of the Institute of African Studies, Prof. Samuel Aniegye Ntewusu, said the subject of slavery remained a global discourse and, therefore, made the exhibition relevant.

He said while the story of the inhumane treatment suffered by communities in northern Ghana had been untold until now, research had challenged the widely held narrative about the enslaved as docile and passive victims.

The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Jeroen Verheul, also said that the exhibition connected two sides of the same coin, considering the impact on both Ghana and the Netherlands.

He expressed hope that lessons that would be learnt from the exhibition will ensure that both current and future generations resist all forms of slavery. The United Nations Educational Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Cultural Officer in Ghana, Carl Ampah, said values and cultural heritage must be held in esteem for posterity.

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