Pilgrimage to the Past
Read an excerpt of my six-page feature in Issue 47 of ZiNG Magazine (Liat's Airline's inflight magazine) about visiting sites in Guadeloupe along UNESCO's Slave Route.
The French overseas department of Guadeloupe is home to pristine mangroves and rainforests, coral reefs, a volcano and a bevy of white, gold, black and even pink sandy beaches. But it’s so much more than merely an idyllic set of islands. The Guadeloupe archipelago also contains dozens of cultural heritage sites that provide a lens through which to understand the whole region’s history of colonization, slavery and abolition.
Visiting cultural heritage sites is more important now than ever before. Over the centuries, the expansion of cities and the collective silence over horrors such as genocide and slavery have led to many important sites falling into disrepair. But today people have started to seek more authentic and sustainable cultural experiences, and governments are now working harder to ensure that cultural heritage sites will be intact for the next generation.
In 1994, UNESCO launched the Slave Route, a global project that aims to increase understanding of the slave trade and build a bridge between Africa and its diaspora around the world. Part of this project is Guadeloupe’s own Slave Route, a trail linking 18 destinations on the island. I set out to follow this trail… READ MORE IN ZING MAGAZINE.