GHANA’S YEAR OF RETURN 2019: TRAVELER, TOURIST OR PILGRIM?
“The Year of Return 2019 remains deeply embedded within a capitalist culture that engages with a complex set of practices, discourses and meanings.
Commercialisation of the ‘return’ requires the saleability of the history of the transatlantic slave trade for African diasporan consumption.”
“Herein lies a painful irony: the commodification of heritage directed at African diasporans is based on a system that was once the commodification of people, through the transatlantic slave trade.
Descendants of the enslaved of the past are the heritage tourists and/or pilgrims in the present.
Still, constructions of Africa have always been central to African diasporic imaginaries.”
“For many diasporans, the ‘return’ symbolises an act of heritage reclamation.
Africa is viewed as the motherland. It is considered a source of black resistance, pride and dignity.
For Africans and African diasporans……knowing heritage pasts are important.
But it remains to be seen how this will translate into critical and sustained engagement to realise the potentials for transforming heritage futures.”
RACHEL AMA ASAA ENGMANN.