12 years a slave

Flying to the US for my last and final weekend on the 2014 Supercoach Academy, I watched 12 years a slave on the in-flight-entertainment system. 12 years a slave And I was horrified. It’s a magnificent production, excellent acting, and absolutely horrible to watch. And I actually had never even thought about the possibility of free African-American men, women and children being kidnapped and sold into slavery. But it happened, and the movie is based on the book written by Solomon Northup himself, after managing to get out of slavery. Apparently one of very few kidnapped to manage to escape.

There is one thing I believe slavery builds more than anything else, and that is more fear. I can only imagine what those who are enslaved fear, but I can hazard a guess: Fear of their owners, fear of being sold, abused, mistreated, separated from loved ones, worked to death, etc. And the very concept that slavery exist must put fear in those who aren’t enslaved as well, especially those in close proximity of slavery, somehow. Fear of falling into slavery oneself, must be there. It just must. Unconciously or conciously.

One of the most absurd things – for me – about the entire concept of slavery is the notion that human beings can be owned by someone. Isn’t it absolutely absurd? I wonder how and why this notion ever got rooted in the culture of humanity, especially since it’s such an old tradition. It’s been around for thousands of years. But why?

I don’t know. I ramble. But I do know this: ownership is definitely something worth looking into. Asking myself some questions around ownership, I’ll reflect more on it. Because what can I own, really?