I would like to warmly thank the many people who have helped me write this book, either directly or indirectly. Above all, I am grateful to all the persons involved in the Frederiksgave Plantation and Common Heritage Project, who gave their time to engage with me by opening the doors to their offices, to their meetings, to their houses and to the reconstruction ground in Sesemi, and allowing me to follow the process of reconstructing the Frederiksgave site. I also wish to express my gratitude to all the people who, in various ways, were involved in the National Museum’s Danish Traces project, as well as to the team of archaeologists and students who excavated part of a former Danish fort in Ghana, and with whom I later enjoyed producing an exhibition on the excavations in both Ghana and Denmark.
I am also very grateful to all my colleagues at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen for making my day-to-day work both fun and interesting. A range of people have provided me with fruitful ideas, valuable advice and help: I sincerely thank Astrid Nonbo Andersen, Mikkel Bille, Lotte Buch, Sidsel Busch, Signe Cain, Jesper Enemark, Beate K. Federspiel, Thomas Fibiger, Per Gideon Frisk, Mille Gabriel, Anne Folke Henningsen, Pernille Ipsen, Joakim Halse, Kirsten Hastrup, Maja Hojer, Tine Sønderholm Jensen, Helle Jørgensen, Steffen Jöhncke, Trine Søgaard Parmo Krog, Stine Krøijer, Anja Kublitz, Katja Kvaale, Cecilie Lanken, Akusoa Perbi, Morten Axel Pedersen, Anthony Annan Prah, Marie Riegels Melchior, Irene Odotei, Katja Rosenstock, Gunvor Simonsen, Silje M. E. Sollien, Sara Lei Sparre, Dick ter Steege, Lise Sørensen, Tim Flohr Sørensen, George Tsakle, Anna Tsing, Sebastien Tutenges, Helen Verran, Nii Wellington, Brit Winthereik, Sue Wright and Jakob Ørberg.
The great idea of having an open review process at Mattering Press – thereby encouraging an open, respectful dialogue – gave me the invaluable opportunity to think with and learn from Mads Daugbjerg and Marianne Lien. Thank you also to Uli Beisel, Joe Deville and Natalie Gill, who critically examined the text, and last but absolutely not least, to Michaela Spencer, for her generosity and patience during the making of this book; I am very grateful for our conversations over the years.
I also wish to thank The Danish Research Council for the Humanities for providing the grant that made this research possible, and to Dan and Lillian Fink’s Foundation, which generously financed its publication.
Warm thanks also go to all my very good friends and family, particularly my father, Jean Brichet, who with his explorative mind has taught me to meet the world with an open spirit, and Nete Helene Enggaard for her highly sophisticated thoughts on various matters, and indeed, for being in my world. I owe my deepest gratitude to Frida Hastrup who, through a continuous dialogue, several bicycle tours and much laughter, contributed greatly to my crafting of this book and to raising my spirits. Finally, I owe thanks to Gritt Nielsen who, with her wonderful critical eye and curious mind, pushed me to explore worlds of another order – a fortunate privilege for which I am so very grateful.
I dedicate this book to Adrian and Manuel Brichet, who continuously nurture my curiosity and share the small wonders of the world.
All translations from Danish to English are by the author.
Unless otherwise indicated, the photographs used in this book are taken by the author.