Slavery Monuments in Africa

Dublin Core


Slavery Monuments in Africa


Monuments and memorials to the transatlantic slave trade in West and East Africa are included in this collection. Memorialization efforts from Senegal to present-day Nigeria are tied to The Slave Route Project, run by UNESCO. Launched in 1994 in Ouidah, Benin, the Slave Route Project has three primary objectives :
  • Contribute to a better understanding of the causes, forms of operation, stakes and consequences of slavery in the world (Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Asia);
  • Highlight the global transformations and cultural interactions that have resulted from this history;
  • Contribute to a culture of peace by promoting reflection on inclusion, cultural pluralism, intercultural dialogue and the construction of new identities and citizenships. (See
One way that The Slave Route Project fulfills its mission is to engage in "the preservation and promotion of sites and itineraries of memory related to the slave trade and slavery."

In conjunction with UNESCO, Senegal, Ghana, and Tanzania have chosen to remember the transatlantic slave trade through sculpture, the built environment, and the landscape. All three countries have sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List: Island of Goree off the coast of Senegal, opposite the city of Dakar; the forts and castles along the coast of Ghana; and Stone Town of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.


Written by Renée Ater


Renée Ater

Collection Items

La Porte Du Non Retour (The Gate of No Return) (Ouidah, Benin)
Located on the sandy shores of Ouidah, Benin, the monumental concrete red, white, and yellow-painted gate and the metallic sculptures that flank it, commemorate the horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The memorial gate, which marks the point…

Never Again Slavery Statue (Albreda, The Gambia)
The work depicts an abstracted human figure, arms outstretched above their head, broken chains hanging from each wrist. Both the frontal and posterior planes of the body are painted black, while the sides of the body are painted white. A geometric,…

Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) (Gorée Island, Senegal)
The island of Gorée was the site of one of the earliest European settlements in Western Africa and from the 15th to the 19th century, served as the largest slave-trading site on the African coast. Built in 1776, Maison des Esclaves, was a detention…

Memorial for the Slaves (Kumbukumbu Ya Historia Ya Watumwa) (Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania)
Five nude torsos of enslaved Africans emerge from stone pillars, whose rough and pebbled texture resemble the stones that fill the concrete pit that surround them. The five cast concrete figures, all but one of whom are chained around the neck, are…

Atorkor Slave Monument (Atorkor, Ghana)
The memorial is located in the coastal Ghanaian district of Anlo, once known for its substantial involvement in the slave trade. A high-walled circular enclosure with a small wooden door, which serves as a narrow entrance, leads the viewer to the…
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