May 13, 2012

Gorée Island

We visited Gorée Island on a very hot Friday at the end of our first full week in Senegal. Gorée Island is located about 3 kilometers east of Dakar. In the past it was an important trading center and military outpost. It currently serves as a symbolic evocation of the slave trade. The one time military fort on the island has been converted into a historical museum that documents social life in the Senegalese region from the Paleolithic through the slave trade and popular resistance to French colonialism.

We were accompanied on our visit by Galiné Yennon, a political geographer, who provided further historical background and some critical questions regarding the commercialization of the island. Students also got a strong dose of what it means to be a tourist in a place like Gorée.

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