ARCH 566 /AAS 406D

May 3 --
Final Presentations (Session II)


Benjamin C. Ray
Department of Religious Studies

Camille Wells
Department of Architectural History

Earl Mark
Director of Computer Technologies
Associate Professor
Department of Architecture

Student Presenters/Project Abstracts
(in order of presentation)

Mary Moore Wallinger
School of Architecture

Proposal for a Series of Community-Based Projects: Working with the Asafo Companies to Improve the Community in Cape Caoast, Ghana

Cape Coast is a city rich in cultural history and has become increasingly interesting to tourists. This proposal of community-based projects seeks to beautify and unify the city in a manner that would draw tourists into the city and highlight local culture and encourage local business. Erosion and poor drainage are increasingly problematic. By assigning specific areas of the city to different groups, such as the Asafo Companies who play a large role in the community already, envoronmental conditions could be made healthier, more sustainable, and more aesthetically appealing. These projects are designed to add unity to the community while also instilling in its members
a sense of pride.

Sabrina Aku Bortey
School of Arts & Sciences

Cloth in Cape Coast Ceremonies: An In-Depth Look at Production, Traditions, and Globalization

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of wearing white to weddings came from? What is kente cloth, and what does it mean to the people that it now symbolizes? What do the colors red and black mean in Cape Coast? Or why Western cultures wear black to funerals, yet Eastern cultures wear white? This site examines these types of questions within Cape Coast, Ghana. Not only does this project address the questions of what these traditions are, but it also attempts to answer the question of where these traditions came from. These questions are answered using both primary and secondary resources. The gallery of photographs, audio, and video images digitally archive this information. The site acts as a resource which explores the role of cloth in two specific Cape Coast ceremonies. This site is targeted towards giving African Americans information about a culture
that they often feel they lack.

Rachel Hill
School of Arts and Sciences

Ghanaian Art as a Carrier of Tradition and an Icon of Cultural Transformation

Ghanaian art can be studied not simply as an aesthetic object but as a manifestation of cultural identity and meaning. This website begins by exploring the "traditional" use and meaning of two distinctly Ghanaian icons of art and culture - the Akan stool and kente cloth. The website follows Akan stools and kente through to contemporary times to show that the artistic meaning has carried and transformed its cultural significance. Finally, the website discusses issues of "tradition" and authenticity in response to the modern dynamic of globalization, westernization and the impact of western tourism.

Sheila Laderberg
School of Arts & Sciences

Shared Histories, Shared Coastlines: The Histories of Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle

Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle are located approximately 10 miles apart from one another on the Ghanaian coast. Built by Europeans in the 15th and 16th centuries,the castles bear witness to over five centuries of European and African commerce, transportation, and exploitation. This website offers the individual and shared histories of the castles in attempt to illustrate the great activities in and around these two castles that range from conquest and colonialism to independance and commemoration.

Lareese Hall

School of Architecture

adrift: an ocean landscape cape coast, ghana, 2001

We have spent a semester learning social, cultural, and historical information about various parts of africa. Our collective exposure to Cape Coast specifically has been largely visual (through a digital archive). We were given the task of interpreting cape coast through this visual information (and with a tourism document) and to synthesize what we found. This was to be a mixed media project. I have not created a web-site. My initial and subsequent analysis of Cape Coast has been visual, and I have chosen to create a series of mixed media pieces that analyze the statistical and historical data regarding the trans-atlantic slave trade (particularly the middle passage), its relationship to Cape Coast, and the varying uses of the coastline of Cape Coast. Much of my research comes from my own investigation of Cape Coast as well as research about contemporary african art. This mixed media project utilized the web, the written word, and analytical and historical texts. My work is geared to people interested in investigating the complex history of the trans-atlantic slave trade, particularly other artists who attempt to work with their hands and articulate what they know with their hearts.

Blayne Amir Sayed
School of Arts & Sciences

Comprehending Community: The Social, Political, and Economic Barriers Faced by Muslim Minority Communities in Cape Coast and Throughout Southern Ghana

Muslim communities in southern Ghana are at a crossroads. Since their inception, they have existed as communities distinct from their respective wholes in outside local communities. While their religious and cultural differences have been tolerated, their social and political statuses have stagnated at levels lower than the norm, mainly because of these differences. The Zongo neighborhood in Cape Coast is no exception. It is the poorest and least developed part of town. Housing, education, and level of income for Zongo residents are all sub-standard. Additionally, due to its central location, Cape Coast Zongo is threatened by proposed expansion in the downtown district. The purpose of this project is to document the difficulties which Cape Coast Zongo and other minority Muslim communities in Southern Ghana face in present times, and to show how some of these issues threaten their very existence. Essential for this dicussion is a brief history of these communities, as the present problems are poorly understood without past reference.

Jennifer Teehan
School of Arts & Sciences

Peoples, Trade, and Cape Coast

This website explores shifts in trade in Cape Coast, Ghana. It begins with a brief overview of trans-saharan trade. It then covers trans-atlantic trade, looking specifically at gold, slaves, and cocoa. I show these others in hopes of illustrating that although Cape Coast Castle attracts a recent wave of tourists because of its historic position in the slave trade, slavery was not the only trade to dominate and influence Cape Coast. An accompanying theme that I weave a bit throughout the text is that of the shifting social patterns that accompanied shifts in trade. As trade changed, so did both the physical appearance and social networks of Cape Coast.

Amy Ansong
School of Arts & Sciences

Lifestyle of a Ghanaian Woman

This site closely examines the real life of a Ghanaian woman, Hannah Osei Bonsu Ansong.The web site has first person accounts, and other video clippings that relate to Hannah's life. Everything from food to culture to education is touched upon on the web site. The web site provides a glimpse into Hannah's life and is designed to help anyone understand the lifestyle of Ghanaian women,specificially the web designer's mother.

Svea Tullberg
School of Architecture

Rediscovering Culture in Cape Coast, Ghana

My work creates an understanding of how humans control each other's perceptions of cultural history through ownership, use, and value of material objects. I apply this understanding to two buildings in Cape Coast, Ghana in order to highlight the necessity of modifying the currently limited extent of human exposure to Cape Coast's cultural history.