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Sound work

A sound memory work inspired by an eerie and vivid two-hour journey travelling from the capital city Accra to Elmina Castle on the coastline in Ghana in 2005. The castle became one of the most strategic and significant stops forming the triangular trade route of the British transatlantic slave trade. The journey references a small doorway at the castle referred to as the 'door of no return'; this was the portal through which enslaved Africans boarded the ships that would take them on the treacherous journey across the Atlantic Ocean, also known as the ‘Middle Passage’. The sound evokes the anticipation of the enforced displacement of Black people and identity under the transatlantic slave trade. Here, the transitory space metaphorically prepares audiences for The Black Interior (2022) in gallery two.

The sound work was exhibited in the corridor space leading to gallery two as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' at Focal Point Gallery, between 25 June to 18 Sept 2022. The exhibition was also shortlisted for the Freelands Awards 2021.

Duration: 14:45 mins, on a loop

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Paul Bates

The Journey was commissioned by Focal Point Gallery as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' (2022) and generously funded by Arts Council England, Focal Point Gallery and Southend-on-Sea City Council. The Journey was designed by Trevor Mathison and Elsa James. Audio installation by KSO Digital. The exhibition was curated by Elsa James.

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