etomi

27 Jul 2006 1,125 views
 
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photoblog image Slave Trade Series: Point of No Return

Slave Trade Series: Point of No Return

This is the last point at which the slaves would set foot in their country. Just outside this narrow door where anchored ships waiting to load the cargo. All slaves could easily pass because they were all malnourished and thin. Those who hadn't died during the ordeal of being stored underground with hardly any light or food and in unsanitary conditions would endure a long trip to the new world stacked like books in a shelf with no space to move.

EXCERPT FROM: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.

At last, when the ship we were in had got in all her cargo, they made ready with many fearful noises, and we were all put under deck, so that we could not see how they managed the vessel. But this disappointment was the least of my sorrow. The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time, and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air; but now that the whole ship's cargo were confined together, it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many diedÑ-thus falling victims to the improvident avarice, as I may call it, of their purchasers. This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, now became insupportable; and the filth of the necessary tubs, into which the children often fell, and were almost suffocated. The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of borror almost inconceivable. Happily perhaps, for myself, I was soon reduced so low here that it was thought necessary to keep me almost always on deck; and from my extreme youth I was not put in fetters. In this situation I expected every hour to share the fate of my companions, some of whom were almost daily brought upon deck at the point of death, which I began to hope would soon put an end to my miseries. Often did I think many of the inhabitants of the deep much more happy than myself. I envied them the freedom they enjoyed, and as often wished I could change my condition for theirs.

Slave Trade Series: Point of No Return

This is the last point at which the slaves would set foot in their country. Just outside this narrow door where anchored ships waiting to load the cargo. All slaves could easily pass because they were all malnourished and thin. Those who hadn't died during the ordeal of being stored underground with hardly any light or food and in unsanitary conditions would endure a long trip to the new world stacked like books in a shelf with no space to move.

EXCERPT FROM: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.

At last, when the ship we were in had got in all her cargo, they made ready with many fearful noises, and we were all put under deck, so that we could not see how they managed the vessel. But this disappointment was the least of my sorrow. The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time, and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air; but now that the whole ship's cargo were confined together, it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many diedÑ-thus falling victims to the improvident avarice, as I may call it, of their purchasers. This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, now became insupportable; and the filth of the necessary tubs, into which the children often fell, and were almost suffocated. The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of borror almost inconceivable. Happily perhaps, for myself, I was soon reduced so low here that it was thought necessary to keep me almost always on deck; and from my extreme youth I was not put in fetters. In this situation I expected every hour to share the fate of my companions, some of whom were almost daily brought upon deck at the point of death, which I began to hope would soon put an end to my miseries. Often did I think many of the inhabitants of the deep much more happy than myself. I envied them the freedom they enjoyed, and as often wished I could change my condition for theirs.

comments (15)

Nice work...keep it coming.
i am so thoroughly impressed with the work that you have done. not only the amazing photos that tell the ghasly tale of a global struggle, but also the historical research that you have done to substantiate your photos.
E Etomi: Thanks Nicole! Im glad my research and photos are interesting. smile
  • atunbi
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 Jul 2006, 07:32
Good work! I no like book but i appreciate your effort keep it up
Very nice W&B shot !
  • sk
  • United States
  • 27 Jul 2006, 11:48
powerful image Etomi, ur developing a style, keep it up
  • chantal
  • Netherlands
  • 27 Jul 2006, 12:38
beautiful color tone.

Off topic, thanks for visiting my photoblog.
  • Dammie
  • United States
  • 27 Jul 2006, 12:51
WoW!!!!......beautiful!!
Very sad.
  • Suby
  • Milton Keynes, Great Britain (UK)
  • 27 Jul 2006, 13:01
Sad and powerful.
Suby
  • incubus
  • london
  • 27 Jul 2006, 14:43
very nice o u go girl!! :s
  • barbara
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 27 Jul 2006, 15:10
Great series (well you know my favourite one in the set..). Pedantic (and possibly silly) question though..is that sign from the musuem? It's not an historic sign...is it? I'd have liked this shot without the sign.
E Etomi: Looking at the pic now, i guess they may have out it there cos all the other real writing was in dutch.
Triple Booooooom!!!
  • Sinem
  • Milton Keynes, UK
  • 28 Jul 2006, 00:31
Chilling.
  • Reza
  • United States
  • 28 Jul 2006, 03:36
This photo is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally good. So much meaning, so much depth, so sad.

Wow. I like etomi, another shot well done.
E Etomi: Thanks Reza man!
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 28 Jul 2006, 17:56
What a sad narrative. Like the shot very much.

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camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/30s
aperture f/10.0
sensitivity ISO800
focal length 40.0mm
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