chapter  5
Exhibiting fraught histories of migrations: museums in Elmina, Ghana NEELIMA JEYCHANDRAN
Pages 19

I remember my tour of Elmina Castle vividly. It was the summer of 2010 and my first visit to the castle as part of my reconnaissance trip of Ghana. I was taken around with a group consisting of a few Nigerians, three Europeans, and a Ghanaian family. Our guide, Felix, introduced himself in the courtyard of the castle and gave a brief history. From there, we were taken to the dungeons for enslaved women. When he began narrating the stories of the transatlantic slave trade in those confines, it was no longer a straightforward rendition of history. The accounts were nuanced as he started explaining the conditions under which enslaved people were kept in the dungeons and the conditions under which they were forcefully transported but still survived. As the tour continued, we were taken to the governor’s quarters, the officers’ mess, the Portuguese church, and finally, we were back in the courtyard where we had started the tour. Felix then informed us that we were at the end of the tour and told us that we could buy books or souvenirs from shops in the castle. But before he took leave, he concluded his tour by emphasizing that the castle is not just a monument, it is a memorial to the history of the enforced migration of Africans during the transatlantic slave trade.