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Posts tagged with 'human rights'

Olympian achievements

16 August 2012 by Richard

photo of museum display

Jesse Owens on the International Slavery Museum’s Fight for Freedom and Equality Wall ©Lee Garland

Hello,

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…

Making a Fashion Statement!

8 August 2012 by Lucy Johnson

Two museum staff in the White Gold exhibition and wearing white tshirts with the winning slogan

Stephen Carl-Lokko and Angela Samata wearing the winning tshirts

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…

One game, one clear message needed

6 January 2012 by Richard

people watching football match at Leeds

Crowds prepare to watch the action at Elland Road, Leeds

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.
Read more…

The power of images

2 August 2011 by Richard

woman looking at framed photographs

Visitor at the Living Apart exhibition

Hello

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…

Home Alone Campaign Success!

20 June 2011 by Lucy Johnson

Stephanie George, a domestic worker in Haiti.

© Pete Pattisson

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…

Free events exploring slavery past and present

10 February 2011 by Sam

This Saturday you can make a stand for love at the International Slavery Museum, at a free workshop making Valentines’ Day cards with a difference. Our cards are designed to support the anti-trafficking campaign and raise awareness about modern day slavery.

Everyone deserves to be treated as special someone – not as a commodity to be brought and sold. So make a Valentines’ Day card with an anti-trafficking message to send to someone, to support the Stop the Traffik campaign. Read more…

The woman I am

28 January 2011 by Sam

two women in colourful clothing looking at a camera

There’s a very exciting year ahead at the International Slavery Museum and yesterday I got to meet the women behind the venue’s latest project with the working title ‘The woman I am’.

The project is led by photo journalist Lee Karen Stow, whose exhibition ’42’ Women of Sierra Leone opens at the museum in March, to coincide with International Women’s Day. In addition to taking photographs herself, Lee has run a number of workshops in Sierra Leone and the UK, teaching women digital photography skills.

This week she has been working with the Liverpool Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) group on the photography workshops for ‘The woman I am’. The group have are hoping to exhibit the photographs they have taken in the new centre for the Women’s Organisation, which opens soon in the city. A selection of their photographs will also be featured on the ’42’ exhibition website. Read more…

Foundations for the future

25 January 2011 by Richard

mechanical digger digging foundations

 A Happy New Year to everyone and as someone with Chinese ancestry it is fitting to wish you all a fruitful Year of the Rabbit. Liverpool has a long established and rich Chinese community, one that adds to the diverse fabric of the city. There has been a Chinese community since the mid-nineteenth century which originally settled around the docks but in more recent times settled in and around Berry and Duke Street. Interestingly Liverpool’s Chinatown has the largest Chinese arch in Europe and indeed outside of China. The New Year celebrations in Liverpool are fantastic and well worth attending.

The museum sector has a number of challenges in 2011 but I believe that the International Slavery Museum will continue to have a strong offer and build on the success of 2010. A year which saw us pass the 1 millionth visitor mark; launch the new International Slavery Museum book Transatlantic Slavery: An introduction; host a series of successful exhibitions; develop our contemporary slavery collection and open our new Campaign Zone.

For many years there has been the debate within the sector as to whether museums should be places of neutrality, islands of objectivity in an often subjective world. I wrote about this in a recent article. Those of us involved in the International Slavery Museum disagree and feel that museums are by their very nature active agents of social change and should actively seek to do so. Janet Marstine in ‘New Museum Theory and Practice’ (2006) has echoed similar sentiments;
Read more…

Sisters in the struggle

13 January 2011 by Sam

old photo of a woman speaking into a microphone

Image of civil rights activist Ella Baker, courtesy of the The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

On Monday Vikky Evans-Hubbard from the International Slavery Museum is giving what promises to be a fascinating free talk about some of the heroines of the civil rights movement. She told me why this is such an important subject:


“When talking about the American Civil Rights Movement, the first names that spring to mind are Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X.

But what do we know about the women that worked alongside them?

Rosa Parks’ act of defiance sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and laid the platform for the then young and inexperienced Dr King to rise to prominence. Parks was actually a civil rights activist of many years standing, when she refused to give up her seat, and had been a guide a mentor to Luther King during that time. Though hailed as the great civil rights heroine she undoubtedly is, Parks was not allowed to speak at the March on Washington in 1964, she was merely told “You have done enough”. Read more…

Stop the Traffik ACT Northern Forum

21 December 2010 by Sam

The International Slavery Museum’s role as an active, campaigning museum has led to a number of initiatives, including the creation of a Campaign zone as well as exhibitions such as Home Alone and Trafficked. Dave Cookson from the Liverpool ACT Group reports on another recent event at the museum:


“The International Slavery Museum was host to the first ever Northern Forum for Active Communities against Trafficking groups (ACTs) on 23 October this year. The Liverpool ACT group were joined by members of groups from Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester in addition to representatives from the STOP THE TRAFFIK organisation based in London.
hand held up, in a request to stop

Copyright STOP THE TRAFFIK

The event was held in the Anthony Walker Education Centre where members were greeted with complimentary fair trade chocolate bars and asked to participate in an appeal to Nick Clegg regarding human trafficking.

The forum was used as an opportunity for STOP THE TRAFFIK volunteers to inform each other of what their groups had been doing, in what proved to be a fruitful exercise as attendees left with new ideas about how to fight the problem of trafficking. Read more…

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