Slavery Remembrance Day: unless we remember, it will not end

20 August 2015 by Richard

Dorothy Kuya with Paul Robeson, Jr. 2007

Dorothy Kuya with Paul Robeson, Jr. 2007

Ahead of Slavery Remembrance Day on Sunday 23 August, Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, explains the background to the Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture, and writes on the importance of this annual commemoration:  Read more…

It’s a left-handed thing

13 August 2015 by Emma Duffy

Proud to be left-handed

Our Internal Communications Officer, Emma Duffy, on why she’s happy to be celebrating International Left Handers Day.

I love being left-handed (one of the 10% of the world’s population that is), not only that but I’m proud to be left-handed. In years gone by, being left-handed was frowned upon. Children were forcibly made to write with their right-hand. Left-handedness was associated with all things evil, and southpaws were considered to be ‘children of the Devil’. Even the word ‘left’ has negative connotations, coming from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘lyft’ meaning weak or broken. The Latin word for left is ‘sinister’ which doesn’t exactly conjure up positive images either! But today – International Left Handers Day – all those dated concepts can be swept aside and the contribution of awesome left-handers can be celebrated, and awareness raised of the everyday troubles faced by lefties the world over. Read more…

Continuing the Journey

23 July 2015 by Lucy Johnson

Photograph of Clint Agard, who contributed to the project

Clint Agard – project contributor

Continuing the Journey at the International Slavery Museum gives an insight into experiences of racism in Merseyside. Leila Romaya from Stray Cat Media tell us more about the project and how it developed…

” ‘Racism is a cancer on this earth’ said one contributor to the project, poet and urban griot Levi Tafari. Continuing the Journey provides a powerful platform that acknowledges the racism that people of African and Caribbean heritage have experienced and continue to experience.

The project’s aim was to give contributors a voice to share their often painful and traumatic experiences of racism through film, photography and audio recordings, as well as offering a wider platform for learning, discussion and debate so that we can work together towards a more cohesive, respectful and accepting future in which illogical racial and cultural stereotypes have no place in our lives.  Read more…

Encounters – Broken Lives

7 July 2015 by Lucy Johnson

Photograph of a JoginiTo accompany our powerful new exhibition Broken Lives: slavery in modern India, we have a series of talks and events exploring the themes and issues in the display. The next talk on Saturday 11 July will highlight how some Dalit women and girls are forced into ritual sex slavery as Joginis and what is being done to combat this exploitation. Later on in the year on 21 November, author David Skivington will be talking about why modern slavery in India is central to his writing.

Here, David tells us more about what inspired him to use his second novel to raise awareness of the Jogini system: Read more…

Broken Lives: finding the past and freeing the future

26 June 2015 by Sarah

Richard Benjamin ISM blog for Broken Lives 25.6.15 WEB SMALLDr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, looks at the different ways we can learn from history to end social injustices, as new exhibition ‘Broken Lives: slavery in modern India’, opens at the Museum today…. Read more…

Helping to mend broken lives

9 June 2015 by Lucy Johnson

Photograph of Jeeva Kumar

Modern slavery is a global issue and the International Slavery Museum works closely with organisations who campaign against these human rights abuses. Our next exhibition Broken Lives: slavery in modern India, developed in partnership with the Dalit Freedom Network, will highlight the exploitation of India’s Dalit community. Jeeva Kumar, Director of Pratigya India, will be giving a talk at the museum during the opening weekend. Here Jeeva tells us more about her work to combat trafficking of girls and women in south India:

“Poised on the Uhuru peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I savoured the moment of triumph, having overcome many obstacles to scale the peak. I was one of the 48 women who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of our movement’s initiative to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking all over the world. Uhuru in Swahili means ‘Freedom’ and the climb was a symbolic representation of overcoming the struggles faced by the oppressed, enslaved, exploited and trafficked women and children, every day. Read more…

Students honour Alice Seeley Harris as an Unsung Hero

19 May 2015 by Lucy Johnson

A black and white photograph of Alice Seeley Harris sat on a chair on her 100th birthday

Alice Seeley Harris on her 100th birthday in 1970.

Alice Seeley Harris’ photographs of the Free State Congo in the 1900s revealed the horror of colonial violence and exploitation to the world. Our exhibition Brutal Exposure: the Congo at the International Slavery Museum highlights how these images were used to overthrow King Leopold II’s brutal regime. Over a century after Alice took these photographs, students in Kansas have been inspired by her story and have developed a wonderful project acknowledging her work. One of the students tells us more…

“My name is Avery Stratton. I am a senior at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas, in the United States. A couple of my peers and I are currently working on an entry for the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes Project competition in Fort Scott, Kansas, which is an effort to highlight individuals who have demonstrated immense courage and compassion in the past who may have not received the recognition they deserve

Alexis Balaun, one of our team members, discovered Alice Seeley Harris while watching a documentary on the Congo. Alice’s heart-wrenching photos were showcased, but not much was said about the person behind the camera. Intrigued by this brave woman, Alexis presented her to our group and we knew that Alice would make the perfect focus for our project.  Read more…

Brutal Exposure reviewed by Vava Tampa

13 April 2015 by Lucy Johnson

Image of Congolese man with injured wrist at entrance to exhibitionThere are less than two months left to visit our powerful exhibition Brutal Exposure: the Congo at the International Slavery Museum. Vava Tampa, founder of Save the Congo and chair of the Morel Prize, has given his thoughts on the display:

Brutal Exposure: the Congo at Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum is notable for many things. One of the masterpieces at the heart of this brilliantly staged installation is a still, sanitised portrait of a Congolese man Lomboto.

Simple and sublime, Lomboto’s portrait, which is also the exhibition’s lead image – and one of the few images that became iconic for colonial brutality – fills the high white wall of the exhibition’s entrance space, Read more…

Film explores history of US enslaved women

26 February 2015 by Sarah

Dr Emily West filming outside the International Slavery Museum

Dr Emily West filming outside the International Slavery Museum

Dr Emily West, Department of History at the University of Reading wrote…

“It was a pleasure to come to the International Slavery Museum to undertake some promotional filming on behalf of the Department of History at the University of Reading. I obtained my PhD from Liverpool University in 1997 and I also used to work part-time in Liverpool’s Maritime Museum so I was very excited about returning to the city and the museum itself! Read more…

Open morning at the Royal School for the Blind

19 February 2015 by Lucy Johnson

A flyer with information about the opening morning, a portrait of Rushton and an illustration of the schoolUnsung: Liverpool’s Most Radical Son displays at the Museum of Liverpool and International Slavery Museum celebrate the campaign work of Edward Rushton, who co-founded the Royal School for the Blind in 1791. Teacher Nick Young has been blogging for us over the last few months, providing an insight into the fascinating history of the school and its work today. Here, Nick explains how the school is opening its doors for people to find out more…

“As part of the events to celebrate the life and work of Edward Rushton in this bicentennial anniversary of his death, the Royal School for the Blind, at Church Road North in Liverpool, is holding an open morning. Taking place on Saturday 7 March from 10am until midday, we invite you to come and see a part of his legacy to Liverpool. Read more…

About our blog

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.

Award-winning blog

corpcomms awards winner logo




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.