The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Beyond Victoriana #82 The Birth of Miss Dorothy Winterman: A Personal Essay– Guest Blog by Luisa Ana Fuentes

Story Excerpt:


Dorothy Winterman's "African Amazon" outfit

It is day 15 of our arduous journey through the veldts of Nigeria (or are we in Cameroon yet?). Our tracker Adeola has discovered new tracks and scraps of fibers from obviously foreign cloths. She can find a single iguana track amongst a bevy of crocodiles, this one can. We listen intently that these “men” are probably several hours, if not a day away. We find evidence of them through their encampments, their excrement and their litter. Yes, litter. Can you imagine- these foreigners, these soldiers, these baby snatching, people annihilating, genocidal rapists also throw their unwanted refuse upon our beautiful, sacred ground. Well if you can march hordes of innocent groups of human beings to ships waiting to whisk them away to be enslaved, massacred and destroyed in a whole different place on this globe, throwing down unwanted garbage must not mean much. I guess it truly lies in one’s perspective, does it not?

I think to myself, “Did I travel back in time for this?”

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Tags: Conventions, Essays, africa, beyond victoriana, fashion, guest blogger, mixed race, personal essay, steampunk identity

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Comment by Luke on August 5, 2011 at 12:12am

Interesting concept. Having grown up in Ghana and often visited the old Atlantic Trade Castles, I feel that this is an element worth investigating. A few points of note though, it might be worth reading up on the customs and practices of the local peoples. Most of the slaves were led away by opposing tribes through the jungle before being sold to the Europeans at the coastal towns. For example the Ashanti in Ghana often sold thier enemies (like the Fante where I grew up) and have kept slaves for centuries before any European contact.

This would make for an interesting element in the story as you could provide a distinction between african and european concepts of slavery.

 

Kudos on tackling this story. Brings home the fact that the Victorian age wasn't just Lords, Ladies and Gentleman. ;) keep it up.

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