Blog

Hello to the Terrace Tapestries

20 June 2018 by Sarah

Image copyright Jah Jussa

From tomorrow at the Museum, you’ll be able to see the Terrace Tapestries – the artworks which launched the Art of Football season, which is happening now across Liverpool. Entry to the Terrace Tapestries display will be free and everyone is welcome!

The FotoOcto arts collective instigated Terrace Tapestries as part of the Art of Football season and worked with The Florrie and artist Peter Carney to create the banners. They have been designed to show unity and cohesion across communities, which we love, and we’re proud to display them together.

Enjoy this blog by Jah Jussa, filmmaker and co-director of FotoOcto alongside photographer Tabitha Jussa, on the Terrace Tapestries:

“We’ve long admired the banners and flags created as fan art by the football fans of Merseyside. From the Everton 1984 FA Cup offering, ‘Sorry Elton, I guess that’s why they call us the Blues’, to Liverpool’s fan favourite, ‘Joey ate the Frogs legs…’ from the 1977 European Cup final, football supporters on Merseyside have laughed and coalesced behind fans banners – banners that some would call ‘folk art’ or fan culture, but which we consider to be true art and invention.

“The World Cup is the ultimate football tournament for bringing fans of different cultures and experiences together. As the World Cup 2018 got closer, and the idea of Art of Football was born, we started to think what if we made a banner for each country? How would each country represent themselves? And what would happen if we paraded them all through the centre of town before exhibiting them in the International Slavery Museum’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building? We set out to discover.

“We wanted a fans representation of their country – no flags, but we’d have the country’s badge on one side – we wanted to veer away from nationalism to a more rounded depiction of each country.

“We got famed LFC banner maker Peter Carney on board. Peter is world renowned for his Hillsborough memorial banner, and more recently for the Sean Cox banner that the players of LFC took onto the pitch after the second semi final against Roma. Peter came up with the idea of a circular banner, representing the world within football and set about making the prototype – England’s banner which shows Liverpool as the most successful football city in the country – a total of 27 league titles between Liverpool and Everton.

“We reached out to the communities of each country on Merseyside and we ran polls on twitter aimed at national teams, newspapers and fans groups to select the final design.

Image copyright Jah Jussa

“The workshops were based at The Florrie, in the Dingle area of Liverpool, and over two weeks the banners were created. Where possible we invited people from each country to implement the design. When they couldn’t come, we got local artists and community members to help. Samia came from the French community, Francis and Cleuman from the Brazilian community, Omar from Syria came and helped Paul from The Florrie with the Arabic script for his Mo Salah/Egypt design. And artists and non-artists from the Dingle got creative with the paint.

“In the end we produced 33 banners. One for each of the world cup countries and also an extra one for us. Omar wrote ‘Love and Peace’ in Arabic and graphic artist Slim Smith designed the ‘World united through football’ motif. On the back, we got handprints from all of the artist involved.

“With the images finished, the fabric was given to fashion designer Paula Johnson to make into the circular banners that you can see.

“Ultimately, what we wanted to show was that the world can be united, and if it’s through football, even for a four week period every four years, then that can only be a good thing.”

Find out when you can see the Terrace Tapestries at our Dr Martin Luther King. Jr building. Entry is free.

New Black Achievers Announced

18 June 2018 by Richard

Black Achiever’s Wall in the ‘Legacy’ gallery of the International Slavery Museum. Image ©Redman Design/ International Slavery Museum

I am pleased to announce the addition of three new achievers to the Museum’s Black Achievers Wall. This popular exhibit celebrates the many different forms of achievement by people of African descent. The connection is that to reach their goals, to achieve in their field, they have in their own way broken barriers, put their heads above the parapet, taken risks, led the way. They have and do inspire.

The three new additions were nominated by Uniglobal members, a global trade union representing 20 million working people in 13 sectors of work around the world, with whom we work closely.  We proudly celebrate our Black Achievers:

 

Bernie Grant MP, 1944-2000

Bernie Grant MP, beside the plaque on the historic Liverpool Waterfront near to where slaver ships were once fitted out and repaired at our very first Slavery Remembrance Day event, back in 1999. A plaque is still in place today. Image courtesy of National Museums Liverpool.

Born in British Guiana (now Guyana), a trade unionist who became Leader of Haringey Council in 1985, the first Black person to hold such a role in Europe. Elected in 1987 as MP for Tottenham, he was an outspoken advocate for his community, and for righting the historic wrongs arising from colonisation and enslavement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Mills, born 1958

Gloria Mills. ©Andrew Wiard

One of Britain’s leading trade unionists, Gloria Mills has campaigned vigorouslyagainst all forms of discrimination. She was the first Black woman to serve as President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Her pioneering work on equality and employment rights has helped change the agenda, structure and culture of trade unions in the UK and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, born 1963

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. ©Steve Pavey

A past president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) North Carolina state chapter. Rev. Barber is a committed campaigner for the rights of African Americans, the poor and other marginalised groups within the US. In 2017, he launched the Poor People’s Campaign for justice, love and equality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email us if you have suggestions for our Black Achievers Wall. Or find out more about why we have the Black Achievers Wall, and our Legacy, gallery here.

Get Out film screening: Positive representation of people of colour in film

5 June 2018 by Stef

Image of a Black man's face, wide eyed and crying

Get Out (2017) © 2016 Universal Pictures

The International Slavery Museum’s Young Ambassadors team have been working in partnership with Scalarama Liverpool (https://scalarama.com/liverpool/) to explore issues of representation in the film industry and what can be done to challenge this. We invited our Ambassadors group to host their own film event in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr building including a post film discussion. Here, ISM Ambassador Rebecca Crossland talks about what visitors can expect at the event. Read more…

New resources and quiet sessions for visitors with Autism and learning difficulties

10 May 2018 by Ann

Welcome guides for World Museum, Museum of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum

National Museums Liverpool, working with partners Autism Together, has signed up to the Autism Charter to help make our museums and galleries more autism-friendly for visitors, families and colleagues living with autism and learning difficulties.

We have produced a new range of Welcome guides for the museums and will be rolling out new guides for the galleries later in the year.  We’d love you to take a look and let us know what you think of them.  We hope they will help visitors prepare for a visit and answer many of your questions during a visit.  They can be downloaded from our website or copies can be borrowed from the information desks at World Museum, Museum of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Read more…

Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?

23 April 2018 by Sarah

Abolition banner designed in the workshop

As part of our International Women’s Day and #Vote100 programme, our visitors worked with textiles artist Seleena Daye to create a banner celebrating inspiring female abolitionists who fought to end slavery.

In this blog, Seleena shares the processes she used to create the banner and more about the inspiring women who are featured.

“So much of what we read around slavery and the abolition of it is very male centric, so to sit down with a bunch of women of all ages and celebrate through a medium often deemed as ‘women’s work’ was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“The reasons why each participant made the piece they did were so varied, from the felt portrait of Sojourner Truth, which was made as a personal challenge to the creator as it was something she had never done and didn’t think she could do. To the embroidered portrait of the Forten Sisters, which was chosen because the creator of that piece is herself 1 of 3 sisters? The Mary Prince piece was chosen because Mary Prince came from Bermuda, like the grandparents of another attendee. Even the piece including an afro comb has a connection both to the creator and to slavery, bringing up discussions around Black hair and the heritage of hairstyles, for example around cornrows being used by enslaved women who, rarely being allowed time or opportunity to do their hair, may have desired a style that would last.

“When bringing the contributions together into a finished piece, I added imagery of other women abolitionists such as Harriet Tubman and Ellen Craft and also explored ways in which people escaped from enslavement, through the Underground Railroad, quilt codes and navigating escape using constellations. There is the quilt code included in the banner, that meant ‘follow the North Star’ and the constellation in the centre is of The Big Dipper which features the North Star.

“In the banner’s corner are some dates, ‘1865 – 2018’, making reference to the date of abolition in the United States of America, and the words ‘Keep Fighting For Freedom’ sitting next to a portrait of Malala Yousafazi, who is a modern day female activist fighting for the freedom of young girls, pointing out that POC are still not truly free. In the opposite corner sits a square with bananas and a cotton plant, things we use today, that one time were picked by the hands of enslaved people, and in some cases still picked by people who don’t have basic human rights.

“I have also included coloured hessian within the banner to represent the goods being packed into hessian sacks, to indigo and African batik inspired fabrics that are a nod to the continent enslaved people were taken from, Africa. I hand dyed the centre piece fabric which was originally a pale blue cotton. I dyed one end green and the other midnight blue, signifying the huge journey many people took, from earth to the sky. The central image of the banner is a silhouette of a woman in shackles under the slogan ‘Am I not a woman and a sister’ which is inspired by abolition imagery used by campaigners at the time, but can also be a message that rings true today.

“It was such a pleasure to be able to create something so important amongst other women who stitched and spoke of solidarity and hardships and how far we’ve come and how far we still have yet to go.

We are women and sisters.”

 Our new female abolitionists banner is here at the International Slavery Museum within the Anthony Walker Education Centre.

This workshop was part of our Adult Creative Offer.

Of rights and resistance

28 March 2018 by Stef

Typeface and poster created by 3rd year student Tom Appleton that relates to the student gun protests in the USA

Typeface and poster created by 3rd year student Tom Appleton that relates to the student gun protests in the USA

To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr, International Slavery Museum are hosting a two week public display of graphic design and illustration created by students and staff at Liverpool John Moores University in response to the museum’s civil rights and legacies of slavery collections.

Graphic Arts students Tom Appleton and Vicki Hesketh discuss the development of the project and what we can expect to see in their public display Of rights and resistance. Read more…

Easter at the Museums

22 March 2018 by Megan

Hop along to your local museum for a free dose of Easter fun! We have a fantastic selection of events, activities and new exhibitions there’s something for everyone to be ‘egg-cited’ about at National Museums Liverpool this Easter. Read more…

10 Black Women Achievers celebrated in Museum

8 March 2018 by Richard

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Space Scientist; STFC fellow for public outreach. Photographed in Astrium EAD’s semi-anechoic (satellite) testing chamber, in Portsmouth. Image © Max Alexander.

Here at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, we have added 10 new Black women achievers on to our Black Achievers Wall this March as part of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.

The new additions include an inspirational list of women from various professions and backgrounds who have been – and are – pioneers.

From the first Black woman to have a film produced by a major Hollywood studio to the first Black woman to sit in the cabinet of the UK government, these achievers have set the bar for future generations to aspire to.

We are also pleased to announce two Liverpool based achievers, Michelle Charters, CEO of the Kuumba Imani Centre and Councillor Anna Rothery, Mayoral Lead for Equalities, who continue to support the BAME communities in the city and actively fight ongoing discrimination and prejudice.

The full list is:

  • Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Scientist, educator and science advocate. Maggie Aderin-Pocock is an honorary research fellow in University College London’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. In 2009 she received an MBE for her services to science and education. In 2014 she became co-presenter of the long-running TV programme The Sky at Night.

  • Baroness Valerie Amos

Born in British Guiana (now Guyana), she became the first Black woman to sit in the UK Cabinet when Secretary of State for International Development in 2003. She served as UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and in 2015 became Director of SOAS University of London

  • Michelle Charters

Community Activist and CEO of Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre in Toxteth, Liverpool   The multi-purpose centre was the vision of the Liverpool Black Sisters, an organisation formed in the 1970’s to address the many forms of discrimination experienced by the Black community. She is the Founding Chair of the Merseyside Black History Month Group and first Black woman to be appointed a Trustee of the Everyman & Playhouse Theatres in Liverpool

  • Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm

    Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm. Brooklyn born politician and educator who became the first Black US congresswoman. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Brooklyn born politician and educator who became the first Black US congresswoman. A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1972 she campaigned for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

  • Lois K. Alexander Lane

Arkansas born founder of the Harlem Institute of Fashion (1966) and the Black Fashion Museum in New York City (1979). The Institute offered free courses on dressmaking, millinery and tailoring. Lane wrote Blacks in the History of Fashion (1982) which dispelled the myth that Black people were newcomers to the fashion industry.

  • Wangari Maathai

Internationally renowned Kenyan environmental activist and politician. Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement empowering local communities to work together to combat de-forestation and protect their environment and their future. In 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for ‘her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace’.

  • Zanele Muholi

Photographer and visual activist. Zanele Muholi aims to use her photography to effect social change. An ardent advocate of LGBT+ communities everywhere, she has become known globally with her series of pioneering portrait photography of South Africa’s LGBT+ communities. Her work is represented in museums and collections around the world.

  • Euzhan Palcy

Martinique born film director, writer and producer. The first Black director to win a French César award for the acclaimed 1983 film Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres). In 1989 she was the first Black woman to have a film produced by a major Hollywood studio. The film, A Dry White Season, looked at the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa

  • Paulette Randall

London born theatre and television director. A former Artistic Director of the Black led Talawa Theatre Company; Paulette Randall has directed and produced numerous productions, including collaborating on the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. She received an MBE in 2015 for her services to drama.

  • Anna Rothery

Labour Councillor for Princes Park Ward in Liverpool since 2006. Anna Rothery has been active in promoting participation of BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities in civic life. She became the first Liverpool Councillor to speak on the floor at the United Nations in 2012 and was made Mayoral Lead for Equalities with specific responsibility for race equality in 2017.

Euzhan Palcy. Martinique born film director, writer and producer. In 1989 she was the first Black woman to have a film produced by a major Hollywood studio, A Dry White Season, which looked at the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Image © Presidence de la République _ P. Segrette.

Celebrate International Women’s Day at National Museums Liverpool

6 March 2018 by Laura

National Museums Liverpool is marking International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March) with a programme of free exhibitions and events on the day and the following weekend (Saturday 10 and 11 March).

Through exhibitions, talks, workshops and poetry there are a variety of ways for everyone to get involved and celebrate this important date.

Gallery

‘Taking Liberties’ at Museum of Liverpool

Read more…

The year of the dog

15 February 2018 by Scott Smith

February marks the start of the new lunar year, and it’s during this time that millions of people across the world will gather to celebrate Chinese New Year. Starting on 16 February, we’ll have seven days of joyous festivities filled with fireworks, lanterns and revelry as the city is lit up in red.

This year is the beginning of the Year of the Dog, defined by the Chinese zodiac cycle. Dogs are the eleventh sign in the zodiac and are seen as independent, sincere and decisive. Honest and loyal, dogs are the truest friends and most reliable partners. Those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 all fall under the year of the dog.

To celebrate man’s most faithful of friends, we’ve pulled together a list of dogs from across National Museums Liverpool’s collections and exhibitions.

‘Table d’Hote at a Dogs’ Home’ by John Charles Dollman

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.