Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

on this side of the Atlantic
Inhabitants of Goreia bathe in the translucent waters around the island.
Non-return door I
Visitors create silhouettes in front of the staircase, now old-pink, of the Casa dos Escravos.
Nassau or Orange Fort,
The main symbol and instrument of power on the island of Goreia, once held by the French and the Dutch.
life of goreia
Children walk along a semi-paved, semi-leafed street on the island of Goreia.
University of Mutants
Resident walks along the island's coastal street, shadow of the University of Mutantes, an international meeting and conference center based in Goreia, founded by Léopold Sédar Senghor.
diving pontoon
A small cement recess is used by the island's youth for socializing, diving and bathing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Non-return door II
The opening by which the protagonism defenders of the island Goreia and the House of Slaves assure that they passed several million slaves on their way to the Americas.
under the palm trees
Passerby walks along the long walled avenue that runs through the island of Goreia.
colonial architecture
Detail of one of the buildings built by the French and the Dutch, after the initial presence of Portuguese settlers on the island, in the XNUMXth century.
a bathing gorée
Children bathe in the island's tranquil waters, just a few kilometers from the western end of the African continent.
Maison des Esclaves
Visitors descend one of the curved stairs that take them back to the ground floor of the Casa dos Escravos.
Gorée in sight
Townhouse on the island of Goreia a few kilometers into the Atlantic, opposite the Senegalese capital Dakar.
colonial forms
Architectural fragments of the slave house, as seen from a window on its first floor.

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

Two findings continue to surprise and intimidate us shortly after we leave Léopold Sédhar Senghar airport, located in the province of Cap-Vert that it shares with the capital Dakar: it has been a long time since we felt such an oppressive heat-humidity pair. It had been at least as long as we hadn't seen so many men over six feet together. We soon confirmed that one of the attributes of the predominant Wolof and Fula ethnic groups – or even the Mandingos – was an enviable athletic build.

We avoid the annoying “sole proprietors” who approach almost all newcomers with imaginative schemes to subtract francs from the African financial community, aka CFAs, or forced payments in other far more famous currencies.

From the airport, we traveled a few kilometers overland and settled in one of the bathing areas on the outskirts of the city. Inside the hotel we ended up in, the air is so thick and musty that it forces us to take deep breaths. Night doesn't take long to fall and even heavier sleep relieves us of the conscious effort to breathe.

We wake up much later than we wanted, peeking at the beach in front of us, already under an excruciating heat that grays the sky and the Atlantic Ocean below, dotted with blackened silhouettes of brats partying in the water and busy fishermen.

As happens almost without exception in these parts of Africa, it was a Portuguese navigator who was the first to disembark there.

It was 1444. Dinis Dias skirted the mouth of the river that now forms the border between Mauritania and Senegal. It continued on to the westernmost point of Africa, which it named Cape Verde and reached what is now the island of Goeia, which it called Ilha de Palma. The Portuguese were quick to use it as a trading post for the region. Almost forty years later, they provided it with a chapel – recently converted into a police post – but the image conquered by the place was far from Catholic. It is another reason why we make a point of visiting it.

The route takes us to the Soumbédioune area, at the other end of the irregular peninsula filled by Dakar and its surroundings. From there, with some of the most modern buildings in the capital behind, we board a catamaran and complete the short crossing. In the immediate vicinity of the final destination, there is the sight of a rounded fort that the Dutch and French resorted to to defend the island from incursions of others and which preserves the double name of Nassau-Saint Françoise.

We disembark to a small jetty, overcrowded with local kids and teenagers who use it as a diving platform. "Look, look, whiter!" shoots one of the bathers at a Frenchman dispatched from the former colony. “The photos on the island are all to pay!” they warn us with the insolence that the group legitimates. Contrary to what we thought, the conversation was anything but small talk. Thereafter, with every image we try to frame someone, that resident avoids their presence, protests unceremoniously against the registration, or gives them a discouraging price, even if it is little more than a passing price.

We walk unhurriedly through alleys of earth or sand, between colonial buildings colored by bricks, paintings, by bougainvillea and other leafy vines. The tour stops at the Casa dos Escravos, a monument preserved in order to perpetuate the memory of Africans imprisoned, raped, sold and allegedly shipped from there to the Americas in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, an infamous traffic represented by the famous “Doors without Return” , with direct access from the dismal dungeons to the Atlantic Ocean.

The colonial building was erected in 1786, used as a mansion by Ana Colas Pépin, a wealthy French-Senegalese mestizo who kept domestic slaves and, it is said, even trafficked a few others, kept on the ground floor of the house.

We examine a mural that illustrates how slaves were captured in the bush, whipped and transported to the coast, trapped by the neck and feet in long human convoys, victims of despotism and cruelty.

The Maison des Esclaves was renovated, starting in 1970, with French support. It holds strong spiritual significance for many visitors, particularly African Americans descended from slaves taken from West Africa. But the dimension of their role in the slave trade is a target of heated dispute.

On the one hand, apologists for Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye, who died in 2009, the Senegalese former curator of the museum and main defender that it is obvious that the house was built to house large numbers of slaves and that 15 million Africans will have passed through the its gates to the colonies of all colonial powers.

As we listen to them, guides their subjects preach the version of the mentor of the house: “after passing through the door, they said goodbye to Africa. Many tried to escape but those who tried died. The shackles that held them were so heavy that they caused almost immediate drowning in the deep waters around the island. And even if they resisted, they would still have to escape the sharks.”

On the other side of the dispute, Philip D. Curtain, professor emeritus of history, also deceased in 2009, who wrote, in 1969, “The Atlantic Slave Trade” and several other historians and investigators who guarantee that the most certain thing is that no slave has passed. through that door. That the real starting point was located 300 meters away and that the boats would never approach the back of the slave house, inaccessible due to the many rocks, even more so when the island had a jetty nearby.

They also defend that of the 10 to 15 million slaves taken from Africa, there are only unequivocal records that 26 have passed through the island, or even less. This is the case with the newspaper Le Monde, which infuriated Senegalese authorities and several of their personalities with an estimated 300 to 500 deportations a year.

The followers of Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye accuse this current of revisionism, of seeking to deny the role of the Isle of Gorea in the history of slavery.

We realized that Ndiaye had immortalized her accusing brand in the museum. Noteworthy is a photo of her in the company of John Paul II and an inscription in French that translates as “Sad and Moving Memory, Night of Times. How can it be erased from the memory of Men?”

John Paul II prayed in Goreia, in 1992. He took the opportunity to make faith in the words of historians and ask forgiveness for many of the Catholic missionaries having been involved in trafficking.

And, despite all the factual controversy around the island, personalities from the most diverse origins and countless heads of state have made and insist on renewing its memory. Nelson Mandela, already as South African president, visited her. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were on the island. The last, just 20 minutes, is a foray into dispatch that the BBC and other influential media channels have accused of having had the sole purpose of winning votes from black voters to secure the US election. Barak and Michele Obama were also present.

Accra, Ghana

The Capital in the Cradle of the Gold Coast

Do From the landing of Portuguese navigators to the independence in 1957 several the powers dominated the Gulf of Guinea region. After the XNUMXth century, Accra, the present capital of Ghana, settled around three colonial forts built by Great Britain, Holland and Denmark. In that time, it grew from a mere suburb to one of the most vibrant megalopolises in Africa.
Elmina, Ghana

The First Jackpot of the Portuguese Discoveries

In the century. XVI, Mina generated to the Crown more than 310 kg of gold annually. This profit aroused the greed of the The Netherlands and from England, which succeeded one another in the place of the Portuguese and promoted the slave trade to the Americas. The surrounding village is still known as Elmina, but today fish is its most obvious wealth.

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

The Swampy Freedom of Quilombo do Remanso

Runaway slaves have survived for centuries around a wetland in Chapada Diamantina. Today, the quilombo of Remanso is a symbol of their union and resistance, but also of the exclusion to which they were voted.
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Fort-de-France, Martinique

Freedom, Bipolarity and Tropicality

The capital of Martinique confirms a fascinating Caribbean extension of French territory. There, the relations between the colonists and the natives descended from slaves still give rise to small revolutions.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Luderitz, Namibia
Architecture & Design
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Horseshoe Bend
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Thira, Santorini, Greece
Thira Santorini, Greece

Fira: Between the Heights and the Depths of Atlantis

Around 1500 BC a devastating eruption sank much of the volcano-island Fira into the Aegean Sea and led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization, referred to over and over again as Atlantis. Whatever the past, 3500 years later, Thira, the city of the same name, is as real as it is mythical.
Streymoy island, Faroe Islands, Tjornuvik, Giant and Witch
streymoy, Faroe Islands

Up Streymoy, drawn to the Island of Currents

We leave the capital Torshavn heading north. We crossed from Vestmanna to the east coast of Streymoy. Until we reach the northern end of Tjornuvík, we are dazzled again and again by the verdant eccentricity of the largest Faroese island.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Terra Nostra Park, Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

We were surprised, on the biggest island of the Azores, with a caldera cut by small farms, massive and deep to the point of sheltering two volcanoes, a huge lagoon and almost two thousand people from São Miguel. Few places in the archipelago are, at the same time, as grand and welcoming as the green and steaming Vale das Furnas.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Incandescent Mouth, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers
Natural Parks
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
UNESCO World Heritage
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

At first glance, Princess Juliana International Airport appears to be just another one in the vast Caribbean. Successive landings skimming Maho beach that precedes its runway, jet take-offs that distort the faces of bathers and project them into the sea, make it a special case.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
A kind of portal
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.