The Return of the Slaves

In ‘The Return of the Slaves’ exhibition, crazinisT artisT employed about 60 participants, both local and international in a durational performance, 12 hours in Elmina Castle slave dungeon overnight without food and water.


This active engagement investigates the ostensible ‘Dungeons without Wall’ as a social process in our contemporary time. The performance evokes the unpleasant objectification of humanity as an institutional or private patronage and consumption of the body in relation to time, displacement and redefinition of cultural identity.


However, this enactment creates a dialogue to contemporary human slavery that explores the emergence of political violence, hate cultures, intolerance and prevailing crimes against humanity within and outside Africa.

The title, ‘The Return of the Slaves’ is a meditative reflection of the history of global ancestry which explores the present state of human objectification under the various forms of crimes against humanity and suppression in our perceived post-slavery societies and beyond.


The Atlantic slaves can never return because they have travel beyond time and space. However, the history of the bitterest experience of our ancestors should redefine our present existence in a global economic state. The ‘return’ is our conscience, our spirituality, our sense of ‘being’ and a mental disentangle from the constructive rigidity of the mind. The returnees must be freed from all forms of mental cages that promote stigmatization and humiliation of minorities as a quest global supremacy.

Slavery is no longer a history of captives in literal chains and dungeons even though there are still many forms of human trafficking, but rather it is the focus on human borders and captives of cultural- identity and mental enslavement.



Photo credit: Deryk Owusu Bempah Photography  

Video Credit: Chikis Photography

Collaborative Institutions

Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST

 Elmina Castle, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB)




Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST


Sponsors and donors

Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, GMMB

Elmina Castle

Cashew Trade Centre Ltd (funding)

Niels Staats, Natascia Silverio, Dorothy Akpene Amenuke, Biekro Akpene, Michael Commey (Individual donors)Exhibition Location

Elmina Castle, Central Region, Ghana