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Theme park’s ‘slave for a day’ event
Thursday, January 3, 2008
A theme park where visitors ‘play’ the role of a slave could soon be a reality for guilt-ridden Europeans wanting to come to terms with their ancestors’ brutality.
Memory Village will allow visitors to be bound and tortured at a resort in Haiti, which was a slave nation before becoming the world’s first black republic.
Tourists can play the part of a slave for 12 hours, in which they get a feel for the hardship endured in the Latin American country more than 200 years ago.
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They can choose if they want to be spectators or participants. If they take part, they will be given traditional African clothing and then ‘kidnapped’, chained and forced to march to a slave ship in a mock crossing of the Atlantic.
They will then be part of a re-enactment where slaves were taken to market to be sold and later broken down with uktorture in quarantine and put to work on a plantation.
Towards the end of the 12-hour stay, visitors will take part in a recreation of the slave rebellion which eventually led to the establishment of Haiti.
Americans Ron and Carla Bluntschli, who are behind the project, have set up a foundation to get Memory Village off the ground and have already raised enough money to buy half the land needed for their attraction.
Mrs Bluntschli said: ‘Slavery is a terrible wound. Germany is still suffering trying to get over the Holocaust, and this is a Holocaust that happened for centuries.’
The couple, who have lived in Haiti for 22 years, need $700,000 (£350,000) in total to complete their theme park.