Colonial media ecologies
Resounding the colonial archive with impressions from a field trip to Ghana
Nøgleord:Transatlantic history, Colonial archives, Media ecologies, Media archaeology, Travelogue, Multi-modal knowledge, Contact zone
In this mixed-media essay I document a field trip to Ghana where I, so to say, travel in the footsteps of the Danish colonizers to the Gold Coast in a bid to dialogically challenge the genre of the monologizing colonial traveloguei. My methodological retracing of the slave route is inspired by Danish author Thorkild Hansen’s book trilogy Coast of Slaves, Ships of Slaves and Islands of Slaves from the 1960s in which he visits the former Danish West Indies and the Gold Coast (in the, at the time of his visit, still very young Ghanaian nation, which had gained its independence from Great Britain in 1957). Hansen was one of the first Danish authors to voice a strong critique of the Danish colonial past and of a neglectful historiography through his docu-fiction. I was curious to explore in a parallel movement to Hansen’s the landscape as prism and archive today. Hence, the ‘reenactment’ of the travelogue in this essay functions as an attempt to recast and refracture colonial narratives of past and present. My own documentary audio recordings from the field trip are presented here along with methodological reflections on how to voice dialogical narratives about colonialism in new digital media.
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