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Forced Relocation

Africans have moved throughout their continent and around the world for many reasons.


With the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s, millions of people from West and Central African were forcibly taken to the Americas as slaves, and East Africa to Arabia. The journey of African slaves was often horrific. 


Olaudah Equiano, an Igbo from Nigeria documented his own journey as a slave taken to the Americas.

Julien Sinzogan 'Les Voiles du Retour' 1998.

"I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits"

You Better Ask Yourself - Femi Kuti
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El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa

Symbolic Links

Artist El Anatsui transforms discarded materials into objects imbued with meaning. Using found materials like driftwood and bottlecaps, he explores the links between Europe, Africa and the United States.


One of the commodities Europeans brought with them to exchange for goods in Africa was alcolhol. “Eventually alcohol became one of the items used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. . . . I thought that the bottle caps had a strong reference to the history of Africa.”


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