youneedlandscape

Slave Castle

“Slave Castle” is truly an oxymoron… an image of elegance and beauty, but in reality it is the location and source of great injustice.  Slave Castles are beautiful and prominent structures on the shores of Ghana. African captives were once housed there before being shipped off to the New World. Today, visitors can take tours and learn of the pain and torment human beings were forced to endure within those bright, white walls… before being led through “the door of no return.”

“Slave Castle” makes me think of current oxymorons which exist in today’s communities and throughout the history of landscape architecture. Are there “Slave Castles” in operation today, that may one day host tours of past injustice? Are master-planned developments built without linkages to mass-transit or necessary services actually today’s form of “Slave Castles?” Are there other constructions which emit beauty and appeal from the outside but in actuality, are doing more harm than good? Can we identify them and put them out of operation before entire civilizations travel through the “the door of no return?”

Reference: “Slave Quarters,” by Allison Samuels, Newsweek, June 1, 2009


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