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Zabunyan, Elvan

The Muted Sound of Speaking Silence

The Middle Passage, the transatlantic slave trade, gives rise to a number of reflections on how African slavery between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries was the beginning of a turning point in history. The one-way journey of 15 million captive people made the Atlantic Ocean a cemetery and the Americas a place where, based on this diasporic experience, an imaginary world needed to be reborn to counter the trauma. Artists and writers have reclaimed the memory of this long-lasting event in order to create an artistic and literary universe that would tell this story by confronting it with a political and aesthetic position. The artists featured in this article have chosen to look to those who perished during the crossing. By borrowing from African beliefs and bringing them back to contemporary forms of creation, they propose a visual and sonic history in which the sea becomes the place of history, the place where images are heard and sounds are seen.

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