The Coast of Ghana is ground zero for what was once a global trade in human beings on a massive industrial scale. This short film follows a young artist’s mission to commemorate his lost ancestors. To date, Ghanaian sculptor Kwame Akoto-Bamfo has modeled 1,500 sculpted clay heads on the likeness of his fellow Ghanaians, taking inspiration from African funerary tradition where sculpted heads of the dead were placed on tombs. He has taken his heads on a symbolic journey, installing them in the dungeons of remaining slave-castles to restore the memory of those who survived the Middle Passage, and those who did not. His life’s work is to create a five-mile-long installation that tells the history of Africa, not just slavery, through 11,111 sculpted figures. Knowing it is a mission that will probably outlive him, he has enlisted the help of his community. A beautiful film told in the first person, about a beautiful man and his personal quest to restore the memory of something the world would rather forget.
My art, I will tell you a proverb in Acan. When you have the surface of the drum to hit to make your, your noise or your impact, you don't hit the sides. So that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm tackling slavery head on. I'm trying to make an impact.