Nantes – Racial Memory, Disquietude & Rememberance (Part 2)

My journey is mine.  The goals I would accomplish on my journey are mine.  I will bring back the Golden Fleece of my own perfected self.  The goals I choose direct me to the center of my being.  In that secret, sacred place, I dwell serenely full of the understanding that comes with wisdom. [Joseph Dispenza. The Way of the Traveler.]

Photo story

These photos were taken over a period of two consecutive evenings.  The first visit occurred on 9/13 after I’d toured The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany at the conclusion of what I thought was a perfect ending to an afternoon of sightseeing in Nantes.  Not so!  The real journey was only about to begin the moment I ventured along the waterfront the first evening and continued during my Paris visit.  In Nantes, I was completely oblivious to images on the slave memorial wall but stopped in my tracks when I saw the vessels that first evening.

On the waking path–I felt a profound disturbance in my body when I caught sight of the ships. Shaking hands, fumbling fingers, accelerated breath and all, I inadvertently deleted all of the chateau photos and the first set of ship and dock photos. I was momentarily distressed about the lost photos.  But I was also acutely aware of something transpiring in the moment—a dispatch being delivered to me.  It wasn’t until I began to walk back to my hotel that I noticed the images on the memorial wall, in that moment I got my marching orders: PAY TRIBUTE.

I poured librations; the ancestors were appeased, the sky(e) and water was alight.

Resources

The Belem

French city looks at role in the African slave trade (article)

Monuments and Memorials of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Wodiczko Wins Design Award for French Memorial (Nantes)

Marche Des Esclaves – The Walking of the Slaves (French performance/ritual on YouTube)

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Too real to be mythological. [1]

Photo credit: Skyediver 2010

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[1] A deft phrase borrowed from a blogger pal, khorine.  Luv it!

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