Sunday, August 7, 2011

Journal entries on scrapbook pages

You'd think that a blogger would generally have scrapbook pages with a lot of stories on them. Nope, not me. However the classes I'm taking at BPC: http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/ are all about writing this week. Write Now! with Amy and The Mother LOAD with Lain are two of my current classes. Elizabeth's Design Challenges helped inspire the following layout. I owe Alison Davis' class for the page LO design though it just barely has anything to do with her sketch. It's what Alson calls an 'extreme' interpretation. Scraplifters usually say "making it my own".
Journal block reads:

I was puzzling over a scrapbook challenge class at BPC taught by Elizabeth Dillow. One challenge was to use symbols on a page to tell our story. I thought of the Adinkra symbols I was introduced to in Ghana. So, I went to my computer and began to review my photos of Ghana. While doing that, I saw this other symbol – the skull and crossbones over a door. This photo said ”Tell this story.” Adinkra symbols are for another day, another page.
 There were actually a lot of stories that were very meaningful from my visit to Ghana. The stories about the slave trade were the most heart wrenching. Ghana’s history  includes the nations that were the early explorers of the seas coming for the gold. Later, powerful countries came to use Ghana as a base for the slave trade.
Many of the early Europeans  built beautiful castle-like fortresses. It’s strange the emotions one has when you see these buildings. They exist in a setting of sea, sand, palm trees, colorful houses and fishing boats. This sharply contrasts with the towering walls, barred and  grated windows and doors, and prison cells. Some of these places have, even in the not so distant past, been used as prisons for political prisoners. In slave trade days, dozens of human beings were crammed together in the cells before being loaded in chains into ships. You hear stories of the atrocities committed against these people and tears well up.
The terror these hundreds of thousands of enslaved individuals must have felt as they passed through this “door of no return” at Elmina Castle (now a museum) is beyond my imagining.  Going through this door meant they’d never see their homes or their family again and would spend what remained of their lives in miserable subjugation. 

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Hi Karen - just popped over from BPC (trying to catch up on some class work/message board reading today). This is a thoughtful piece of writing, really makes us think about that door & the history behind it.