Piecing together Clotilda history: Savannah College of Art and Design making new documentary on slave ship

Black History Month

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — When the City of Mobile announced plans for a documentary film and water tour about the Clotilda, the last slave ship to bring Africans to the United States, a contract was approved by the city council to partner with Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Ohene Twum, pursuing a master of architecture degree at SCAD, calls it an honor. “It’s an honor for us to be a part of this project. To find out about the even greater history of Africatown.”

The school is responsible for making a documentary about the Clotilda and a water tour to fuel tourism and educate people on the history of the ship and Africatown as a whole.

“We think this is one of the leading tourism stories in North America. This is again a story that I think is a million tourists a year once the assets are fully developed.”

David Clark, President and CEO of Visit Mobile

The City is paying SCAD $190,000 for the project which includes faculty and students from SCAD-Pro, a department within the design school that takes on professional challenges.

There is a diverse group involved, in fact, one of the students is from ghana and applied to work on the project — having a close connnection to the story.

“To me, this is not really, not a project in isolation. But it is a tool to ensure that Africa as a whole not only remembers its history. Because our history is not merely, is not only Slavery. And I think that is an important aspect to highlight. Whenever we highlight the past, whenever we look back, we should ensure that people have a platform to look forward.”

Ohene Twum, Pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at SCAD

SCAD is currently in the research phase of the project, equipping themselves with history and knowledge before starting on the design phase for the documentary and immersive water tour.

Visit Mobile excited to see the design come to life.

“When we deliver this story and turn it into an experience and these assets develop, people are going to want to come work, live, and play there, again.”

David Clark, President and CEO of Visit Mobile

Visit Mobile says the anticipate the project being complete by summer.

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