Posts tagged with 'human rights'
In 2016 Winston Churchill is set to replace Elizabeth Fry as the face on our fivers. It’s also been reported that Jane Austen is “waiting in the wings” to make her bow on a note sometime in the future. Which Black Briton do you think should appear on our bank notes? Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum has made his choice. Read more…
14 February 2013 by Richard
Conrad’s classic Heart of Darkness is a powerful indictment of imperialism at its height which swept across Africa and in particular the repressive and brutal reign of the Belgians in the Congo, which had become the fiefdom of King Leopold II. The book centres on Marlow, a sailor who works for a Belgian ivory trading company, and encounters widespread brutality by the company. At the end of the book Conrad’s narrator encounters Kurtz (Brando in Apocalypse Now), who had worked for the company but turned himself into a demigod and who was guilty of carrying out horrifying atrocities. Read more…
31 January 2013 by Richard
Unfortunately we had to cancel the planned event with the artist Nicola Green at the Walker Art Gallery on Friday 18th due to the bad weather. However, before the venues closed I was able to give Nicola and her friends and family a tour of the International Slavery Museum. Amongst the group was the singer Beverley Knight who had a very thought provoking visit and David Lammy MP – long time supporter of the International Slavery Museum. It’s a lot to take in for some people on their initial visit, and they might experience a number of emotions, so I am sure that many of the group will come back in the future. Read more…
6 December 2012 by Richard
With International Human Rights Day approaching on 10 December I wanted to highlight often forgotten human rights activists, in this case Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor Rathbone and Ronald Kidd.
Roosevelt, a former U.S. First Lady, chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, one of the most important and significant documents of modern times. Some of the articles are more known than others, for instance, Article 1 declares “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights whereas Article 4 states No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” However, of equal importance are such articles as Nos. 16 which states that “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses”. Human rights abuses which the Declaration has striven to fight are still taking place today, not just in other countries, but the UK, your own town, your own street. Young women in some communities can’t marry who they want and can suffer domestic violence as a result. People of all ages and nationalities are held in domestic servitude, often mistreated by professionals and not everyone is born free with their rights in place. I could go on.
23 October 2012 by Karen
Emma Duffy is our internal communication officer. She attended the recent FIHRM conference and these are her thoughts on what she saw:
Recently the International Slavery Museum hosted the third Federation of International Human Rights Museums conference (FIHRM) with delegates attending from across the globe including Mongolia, Gambia, Mexico, Nigeria and Vietnam. I was honoured to attend the second day of the two-day conference and was enthralled by the diversity of topics discussed.
I was particularly moved by Ben Osu’s presentation (Community Engagement Officer for Your Housing Group). He discussed the heartbreaking and abhorrent story of Malala, the fourteen year old from Pakistan who was recently shot in the head and left for dead by the Taliban for writing a blog and opposing the regime.
16 August 2012 by Richard
I could not miss the opportunity of an Olympic themed blog. I enjoyed these past few weeks (I now know about ippon and not to pop out of the room before the 50m freestyle) and am looking forward to the Paralympics. That being said, I am not sure whether the Olympics warranted the lead news item most evenings. The world does not put everything on hold for such events.
On several occasions the discussion focused on the achievements of Black athletes, in particular sprinters form the Caribbean and the US. A recent programme which featured Olympian Michael Johnson called Survival of the Fastest looked at whether African American and Caribbean athletes are successful as a result of a legacy of transatlantic slavery. Johnson met sport and science experts and leading historians to examine the link between transatlantic slavery, genetics and plantation ‘breeding programmes’. Did the physical stature of many enslaved Africans forced to carry out backbreaking and deadly physical labour have a role to play in altering the genomes of their descendants? Read more…
8 August 2012 by Lucy Johnson
Visitors to White Gold: the true cost of cotton in the Campaign Zone at the International Slavery Museum have been coming up with t-shirt slogans related to the issues in the exhibition. Developed in partnership with the Environmental Justice Foundation, White Gold draws attention to the exploitation of workers in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan.
The fashion designer Katharine Hamnett went through over 300 entries to select the winner of the t-shirt competion. A big congratulations to Katie Fernandez from Woolton for her winning slogan: ‘Thousands of Childhood’s Lost…and all I got was this lousy tshirt’. The slogan has been printed onto 100% organic cotton t-shirts and is available to purchase from EJF’s online shop. Read more…
6 January 2012 by Richard
In 2008 I wrote a blog about my experiences as a Leeds United fan and how Elland Road in the early 80s was a haven of racist abuse and bigotry, usually aimed at opposing Black and Asian players and fans. I explained how I felt uncomfortable when hundreds of people chanted something racist but at the same time I refused to leave or walk away. I had as much right as anyone to be there, I was a Black Yorkshireman and proud of it.
2 August 2011 by Richard
Well there have been plenty of things happening here at the museum since my last blog post. We have launched three very successful and eclectic exhibitions: Living Apart: photographs of apartheid by Ian Berry; ’42′ Women of Sierra Leone, a series of photographs of Sierra Leonean women, highlighting the alarming fact that life expectancy for them is only 42 and Toxteth 1981, a community exhibition developed in collaboration with the Merseyside Black History Month Group to mark the 30th anniversary in July 2011 of the 1981 riots in Toxteth, Liverpool. The latter involved members of the Liverpool Black community who lived in Toxteth during the disturbances loaning photographic material for the exhibition. The images gave them a voice which I believe is very important if museums are to be truly seen as a resource by the local community in particular. Read more…
20 June 2011 by Lucy Johnson
Since last year, the International Slavery Museum has been encouraging visitors to support Anti-Slavery International’s campaign for domestic workers’ rights to be recognised. The exhibition Home Alone: end domestic slavery highlights how domestic workers (people who work in, or for, other people’s households) can be vulnerable to exploitation and slavery. Domestic workers around the world lack legal rights to protect them against abuse; a basic right that most of us take for granted.
Last week the campaign had a historic break through. Following increased pressure from Anti-Slavery International and their partners, the International Labour Organisation has agreed to adopt a new Convention for Domestic Work. This new regulation will improve the protection of domestic workers from exploitation. It will recognise their rights as employees. Read more…