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Posts tagged with 'centre for the study of international slavery'

Refugee Week: are we still a city of sanctuary?

16 June 2017 by Stef

MaMa choir performance, image from Migrant Artists Mutual Aid

Recent events have left many of us feeling that our community is increasingly vulnerable and divided. Refugee Week (19-25 June) provides us with an opportunity to create a more welcoming place to live, by coming together to celebrate people who have overcome incredible adversity.

To celebrate Refugee Week, the International Slavery Museum is hosting an exciting programme of free events and activities. Migrant Artists Mutual Aid (MaMa) will showcase the unifying force of music with a choir performance, that includes songs from member’s childhoods. MaMa Choir is a cross national network of women, mothers, migrants, artists, academics and activists who work together to campaign for justice in the migration system.

We are presenting short film screenings featuring Chasing Borders, a short film created by young people working with the BFI and Watershed Cinema. Chasing Borders is the heart-breaking story of a young person’s walk to safety. We are also screening Call Me Kuchu, a fascinating documentary highlighting the struggles of persecuted LGBT+ people in Uganda. The experiences of LGBT+ refugees can often be overlooked and many experience violent discrimination even once they have reached counties like the U.K.

For those who like to get hands on, get creative in our Faces of Change badge making workshop and help us create a refugee welcome display. This display will feature your pictures and stories of refugee experiences, including those from the Dunkirk refugee camp in France. The Dunkirk refugee camp was destroyed by a blaze this year along with the few remaining belongings and shelter that the occupants had left, though they continue to be supported by dedicated volunteer groups including Dunkirk Legal. With your help we can create a display to inspire museum visitors and to share our support with vulnerable people around the world.

Join in, learn and have fun to show that we are still a city of sanctuary.

For more information on all the Refugee Week events and activities taking place please click here.

A collector’s eye: OSPAAAL posters

14 February 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Mike Tyler is the collector and architect who owns the striking array of 32 Organisation in Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL) posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike what he looks for when adding to the collection:

“The bulk of my collection dates from OSPAAAL’s founding in 1966 to the mid 70s, which is referred to as the ‘Golden Period’ of Cuban poster art. It is no coincidence this was a time of great political and social unrest with the civil rights movement, Vietnam War, Watergate scandal and struggles against apartheid all providing fuel to creative fire.

Many collectors are interested in the politics whilst some have an affinity with Cuba. For me, the appeal is their artistic merit, which has long been revered in the world of both propaganda art and graphic design. In terms of desirability, there is a big collectors market for civil rights and Black power material so these posters command the highest demand. Posters featuring Che, Nixon or the more well know conflicts such as the Vietnam War have a broader appeal. Then you have the more renowned artists such as Alfredo Rostgaard, Rene Menderos, Jesus Forjans & Faustino Perez who created some of the most iconic posters.

Day of Solidarity with the Congo, 1972 by Alfrédo Juan González Rostgaard. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

In terms of the actual posters, given they are paper and were designed to put up on walls, that means stains, tears, holes etc are to be expected. Considering their age, the fact they even exist is impressive but for the serious collectors condition is important.  Provided they aren’t too bad, I don’t mind a few scars as they show they have been used as intended. The posters were issued folded within Tricontinental magazine so for me fold-lines are a good thing as it implies they are originals rather than later print runs.

I also like to know a little about the person who owned the posters before me. To date I’ve dealt with musicians, activists, curators, journalists, TV presenters, antique book dealers and even the artists themselves. It all adds to their story.”

Don’t miss our series of free events planned throughout the Art of Solidarity exhibition.

Mike Tyler- Why I started collecting solidarity posters

25 January 2017 by Sarah

Tricontinental Conference – 3rd Anniversary, 1969 by Alfredo Juan Gonzalez Rostgaard. Copyright: Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive.

Mike Tyler is the architect and collector who owns the fantastic array of 32 posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike how and why he started collecting these Cuban posters, designed to support freedom movements around the world:    

“I’m often asked why I started collecting Cuban posters and the truth is, it kind of just happened. As a visual person I’m drawn to design, graphics, photography, street art etc, so when I first stumbled across a batch of these posters, I could see they were something special.  Read more…

Curator’s view: Art of Solidarity

13 January 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Today we are pleased to open our new exhibition at the International Slavery Museum, ‘Art of Solidarity: Cuban posters for African liberation 1967 – 1989’. We asked curator Stephen Carl-Lokko to tell us what to expect:  Read more…

Hot off the Press: Black Panther Newspapers arrive at the International Slavery Museum

31 October 2016 by Sarah

One of the newspaper issues.

One of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service newspaper issues. Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

October is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party and Black History Month in the UK. So, what better time to announce our acquisition of twenty one copies of the ‘Black Panther Intercommunal News Service’ than today?  Read more…

Spotlight on: Slavery Remembrance Day

27 October 2016 by Sarah

The Libation ceremony

The Libation ceremony

National Museums Liverpool is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and we are also in Black History Month for the UK.

So in today’s blog, we’re taking a special look at Slavery Remembrance Day, which falls on 23 August. Read more…

A British Subject Enslaved in America

8 July 2016 by Sarah

Newspaper clip about William Houston from the Lebanon Courier, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, 16 April 1852.

Newspaper clip about William Houston from the Lebanon Courier, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, 16 April 1852.

This week’s guest blogger, David Fiske, spent years investigating the life of Solomon Northup, the free Black man whose kidnapping and enslavement was the basis for the film ‘12 Years a Slave’. Sadly, the tragedy that befell Northup was not unique. David shares the history of William Houston, a free Black man living here in Liverpool (UK) in around 1840, who was enslaved in America: Read more…

Black Civil War Soldiers and Pensions

5 April 2016 by Sarah

Pension records about Benjamin Davis used during Holly's presentation. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Original pension of minor children: pension records about Benjamin Davis used during Holly’s presentation. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Ahead of the anniversary of the start of the Civil War  (12 April), Holly Pinheiro of the University of Iowa, writes a guest blog for us on Black soldiers in the Civil War, focussing on the families that they left behind:

“155 years ago, the Civil War began, though some would argue, rightfully so, that the conflict started well-before Confederate soldiers’ fired their guns on Fort Sumter.

“Without question, the Civil War redefined American society at every level, from the political culture, race relations, to the economy, at both the state and federal level. And, the war’s legacy and its meaning continues to remain a contentious issue in American society. Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.