THE POWER TO FEEL | Images of Elmina

Written and photographed by Adrenus Craton

It has been called the Journey of a Lifetime - and certainly in a strange way it was for me also.

For an estimated 12 million Africans, the Castle of Elmina housed the "Door Of No Return"… out of which they boarded a ship and never saw their families nor set foot in their homes again. 

Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to this exact location, where their relatives survived a harrowing journey only to endure a life of slavery and oppression in their new world.

My mind went into a state of shock as we followed Nana (our guide) through the cells where these African men and women were held, waiting as despondent, tortured and helpless captives of Elmina Castle. 

This journey was taken with a good friend whose roots are firmly set in Accra, Charlotte Mensah. Also on this journey were two fellow Ghanaian acquaintances. For one, named Ekow Barnes, it was also his first time to Elmina. 

Partly as a distraction from my "beyond the senses of sensitivity", and an overwhelming urge to run escaping and fleeing from this tour, I brought along my camera. But after feeling some of the strangest, indescribable sensations of connection in some of the castle's rooms (and being unable to photograph for myself) then and there I decided to chronicle Ekow's visit instead.

So, hoisted safely behind my Nikon buddy, I took in this incredibly emotional history through my tear filled lens. From one African-American's pilgrimage to another African man's spiritual homecoming... 

Model: Ekow Barnes

Location: Elmina Castle on Cape Coast, in Ghana, West Africa

Special thanks to Charlotte Mensah

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