The former Portuguese seaborne empire is famous for being one of the firs empires to conquer the African continent in the 15th century. Like other regions and countries along the coast, Ghana was a major Portuguese target for settlement and economic trade and also colonization. Called the Costa do Ouro Portuguesa, the Portuguese mainly exported gold, ivory and slaves to ship them to their American enclaves and Europe.
Elmina Castle, formerly called fort Sao Jorge de Mina, was first built in 1482 and functioned under Portuguese control until 1637, more than 150 years. Currently, Elmina Castle is declared an UNESCO world heritage site and visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world. Visitors learn about the history of the castle – they learn about the history of slave trade. However, Elmina was not only for slave trade but is a place of cultural encounter, where individuals of different cultures first met and interacted with each other.
The aim of this event is to shift the focus of Elmina away from slave trade history and to put a new focus and impulse on intercultural communication. We would like to give an insight on how Portuguese and local authorities as well as individuals interacted among each other and what kind of cultural impact the Portuguese occupation has had on the local people.
The event is coorganized by the Depatment of Languages of the University of Ghana who conduct research into intercultural communication.