1. Property that is or may be inherited.
2. A special or individual possession; an allotted portion.
3. God’s chosen people (the people of Israel, or the Christian Church).
To me heritage stands for the music, tales, and even clothing passed down to us from our ancestors. The folklore, the clothing as well as the food are all huge aspects of any culture. For this project, I aim to go back in time and interpret the history, tales and legends of strong African heroines that have been passed down many generations. I want to experiment with the idea of presenting these histories in a different way by placing women in positions of power. In order to do this and make this project personal, I needed to take a deeper look into my own ancestral roots.
I started my research by looking up the concept of ‘Heritage’. I wanted to explore this by looking at my own ancestry and looking at tribes and the stories they passed down through generations. However, I came to the realisation that although these stories were told to teach people moral lessons, people (women in particular) still struggle to find their voices in society. By looking at my places of origin, I realised that these are the places women seem to suffer the most. Through my research I hope to try and retell these stories and make it so women are celebrated.
Having recently discovered my senegalese roots, I wanted to incorporate this into the unit 7 project. I found that Senegal was one of the major areas in Africa that slaves were being traded. What stands out to me about Senegal is the ‘Door of no return’. It is located in a building called ‘The House of Slaves’ was has since been reconstructed and re-opened as a museum in 1962. It is believed that more than a million slaves passed through the doors of the house. Although this has not been confirmed, I find it highly tragic. Even tough I am an African, I have been lucky enough not to have been so affected by our involvement in slavery because it was not practiced in Northern Nigeria. Unlike in southern Nigeria where chiefs sold people into slavery, in the North our rulers never allowed it. Learning about my senegalese ancestry and ‘The door of no return’ affected me because now I am aware that there is a possibility of some of my ancestors being slaves. It is not distant anymore but something that is deep-rooted in my own family and people’s history.
I wanted to dedicate this project not just to women in my life who I look up to, but the girls in my nation who need hope. The girls who need encouragement, love or simply to hear the words ‘you’re not alone’. With this in mind, I took a look into young women and children in need of help.