Museifying the slave trade and slavery in Zanzibar: Truth, untruth, and uncertainty in the slave market

By Marie-Aude Fouéré


This article focuses on the slave market in Zanzibar, a heritage site of the slave trade and slavery in Africa and the Indian Ocean that has not been widely accepted by the population. It brings to light significant gaps between recent efforts to upgrade the site in 2016—through an exhibition that is more in line with historical reality than it was in the past—and local representations of slavery that tourist guides convey to visitors. Based on interviews with the guides and participant observation of the visits, this article shows that the slave market remains a friction zone where racialized identity constructions from the past are re-enacted.


  • Guides
  • Market
  • Museum
  • Slavery
  • Tourism
  • Zanzibar
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