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Now I see you. Now I don’t - The Slave Market Building exhibition in Lagos, Portugal
Paula Mota Santos
(Universidade Fernando Pessoa and Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Administração de Políticas Públicas ISCSPuniversidade de Lisboa)
Paper short abstract:
The core transatlantic mobility under analysis are the osteological remains of the first African sla-ves in Portuguese soil, discovered in 2009, and the way the museum-like practices relate to them in two exhibitions: one in 2010 and the other in 2016. Questions on the role of representation has in not only speaking, but in doing will be addressed.
Paper long abstract:
Lagos is a city on the southern coast of Portugal that played a major role in the early stages of the country’s maritime expansion and ensuing colonial empire. It was to Lagos that the first Por-tuguese ships carrying African slaves arrived. Today, Lagos is a major international tourist center to which visitors are drawn by its surrounding coastline. In 2009, as a result of the continuous in-crease in tourism, a car park was built on the outer perimeter of the old city walls. During the construction, the remains what proved to be over 100 African slaves dated to the fif-teenth/sixteenth century were found. This presentation analyses the non-memorialization of the actual burial site and contrasts it with the 2010 and the 2017 exhibitions on the archaeological finds (the first) and on slavery (the second) organized by the Lagos City Council. The core transatlantic mobility under analysis are the osteological remains of the African individu-als who died as slaves in Portuguese soil and the way the museum-like practices differently rela-te to them in the two exhibitions: by putting them on actual display in 2010, to have their electro-nic image being part of the multimedia game-like forms of the visitor accessing knowledge in 2016. Questions on the changes in the museum-like practices in these two exhibitions and the role of representation has in not only speaking, but in doing will be addressed.
Transatlantic museum mobilities: convergences of objects, people and ideas