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At the Limits of MemoryLegacies of Slavery in the Francophone World$
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Nicola Frith and Kate Hodgson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381595

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381595.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

Cette île n’est pas une île

Cette île n’est pas une île

Locating Gorée

Chapter:
(p.131) Cette île n’est pas une île
Source:
At the Limits of Memory
Author(s):

Charles Forsdick

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781381595.003.0007

Chapter seven, by Charles Forsdick, introduces part two of the volume with an exploration of one of the most iconic sites of memory for the European-led slave trade: Gorée Island in Senegal. With reference to the wide range of fictional, filmic and political uses of Gorée and its maison des esclaves and porte de non-retour, it raises searching questions about the symbolic location and significance of the island. As a central location for the memorialization of the Atlantic slave trade, Gorée has attracted a stream of tourists and prominent international visitors. As such, it provides a fascinating case study into the politics of national, international and transnational memory that allows us to understand how the island has been progressively represented, instrumentalized, politicized and memorialized. This heavily over-determined and iconic site of memory thus remains deeply ambivalent. It reflects both the past traumas with which Gorée is associated, and the ambiguities inherent in a site whose undeniable symbolic power overshadows its historical functions, not least through the historiographic controversies it has provoked.

Keywords:   Slavery, Memory, Slave trade, Gorée Island, Senegal, Joseph Ndiaye

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