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Indeed, much as Christianity was perceived, more or less, as the bedmate of colonialism in the... mehr
Rescue the Perishing (Trokosi Rescue): A Case of a Heterotopic Diaconia in Ghana
Indeed, much as Christianity was perceived, more or less, as the bedmate of colonialism in the perpetuation of the condemnation of African culture and religion, her social practices, aimed at enhancing the well-being of the people, cannot be underestimated. It is needless to say that some of practices of the indigenous religions of Africa have been very oppressive,and with the intervention of Christianity attempts are being made to rescue the oppressed from the oppressor. This article concerns a Christian social practice that aims at freeing people (especially, female children) who are considered as “slaves of the gods,” Trokosi is a ‘negative’ religious space created for girls (ranging from as young as 5 to about 15 years) who are given out as slaves to the shrine as a ransom for some ‘crime’ committed by a member of the family. These children, apart from carrying out all forms of servitude, eventually become thewives of the priest of the shrine –who in most cases also abuse themsexually while young. The constitution of Ghana has abolished all forms of slavery but the practice is still being perpetuated. However, some Christian nongovernmental organizations have taken up thechallenge to liberate these children and keep them in a created space or safe site since in most cases their families were not willing to accept them back for fear of the ‘wrath of the gods.’ There, the children are given vocational education skills to help them acquire a trade for an easier integration into the larger society. This article evaluates these social acts in light of Foucault theory of heterotopia, particularly what Wyller refers to as heterotopic diaconia . To what extent can such acts create authentic sites for the restoration of human dignity to the marginalized in a larger Ghanaian or African society in the light of Isin’s theory about citizenship?