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Meet the author: Sara Collins

8 March 2019 by Sarah

Sara Collins. Credit: Justine Stoddart

Who is Sara Collins?

I studied law at the London School of Economics and worked as a lawyer for 17 years before pursuing my lifelong ambition of writing a novel. I obtained a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Cambridge University, where I started writing my novel in late 2015.

Why are you going to know all about Sara next month?

The Confessions of Frannie Langton will be published by Penguin (Viking) in the UK on 4 April 2019. Read more…

Vote for us!

13 December 2018 by Sarah

Our ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ painting has been shortlisted for Art Fund Wok of the Year 2018. Shown here as it was acquired, and before conservation work. Image courtesy of National Museums Liverpool.

Fantastic news! Our new painting ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ at the International Slavery Museum is on the shortlist of 10 works to be Art Fund Work of the Year 2018.

The annual poll aims to find the public’s favourite Art Funded work of the year, and to celebrate a year of helping museums and galleries acquire great art. You can help and support us by voting!

‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ is a significant acquisition for the Museum- and the UK.

It is the first painting in our collection to show the powerful and resonant iconography of abolition. The artwork dates from around 1800 and the artist is unknown. The foot of the canvas reads, ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’, a variation on the more common version, ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother’. Read more…

Sugar, tea and pottery – new archaeology displays at Museum of Liverpool. Part 2/2

9 August 2018 by Jeff

Pottery

Just some of the huge quantities of sugar refining pottery recovered in 2007

In the case under the stairs on the ground floor of the Museum of Liverpool you can see more of the objects recovered from the excavations on the site of the Museum in 2007. It’s the first chance we’ve had to show off properly some of the huge collection of sugar refining pottery that we excavated from this very site before the Museum was built . Most of it was badly broken but it is all that is left from the many small sugar refineries which existed right in the centre of Liverpool 200 years ago, long before the large factories like Tate and Lyle developed on Love Lane, now Eldonian Village. Read more…

Sugar, tea and pottery – new archaeology displays at Museum of Liverpool. Part 1/2

6 August 2018 by Jeff

Tea pot

Teapot from Paul Scott’s ‘Cumbrian Blue(s), The Cockle Pickers’ Tea Service’

The Museum of Liverpool’s archaeology team have put together two new displays of pottery which may look very different but on closer inspection have interesting connections.

One is a display of ‘Cumbrian Blue(s), The Cockle Pickers’ Tea Service’ by artist, Paul Scott. Made to commemorate the Chinese cockle pickers killed in Morecombe Bay in 2004 and modern slavery, it also links to Britain’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The second display, in the Atrium case on the ground floor, shows some of the huge quantities of sugar refining pottery recovered in 2007 from the site of the Museum, before it was built. Read more…

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. 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.

17 March 2018: One-day Conference: Slaves of Fashion: Archives, Art and Ethics

2 February 2018 by Ann

To accompany The Singh Twins’ major new exhibition Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins at the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and the University of Liverpool School of Histories, Languages and Cultures are hosting a one-day conference, open to the public to explore the issues raised by The Twins’ new artworks.

Read more…

Uncover the secrets of the Underground Railroad – with computers!

20 July 2017 by Sarah

This is a secret symbol or quilt code to communicate ‘safe house’. It will be included in the Underground Railroad computer game. Credit: Belvedere Academy History Club

How do you create a “choose-your-own-adventure” computer game about a hidden history that was conducted in secret, out of sight and under the cover of darkness? This task was explored by five remarkable students from Belvedere Academy as they created a series of scenarios, each with choices and consequences based upon the Underground Railroad, the code name for a network of secret routes, places and people that aided fugitives in the United States escape from Slave States to Free States.

The project will be showcased on 27 July and 23 August as part of the Museum’s 10th anniversary programme of free events and talks, including its Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations Read more…

‘Blind School’ digital trail at the Museum of Liverpool

24 November 2016 by Liz

Steve Binns at Mapping Monday (c) Jack Morgan DaDaFest

Steve Binns at Mapping Monday (c) Jack Morgan DaDaFest

Today we have a guest blog from Kerry Massheder-Rigby, History of Place Project Coordinator:

“For Disability History Month 2016 the History of Place project partnered with the Museum of Liverpool to launch a ‘Blind School’ trail on the Merseyside Map in History Detectives.  This trail, about the history of the Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool, has been researched by volunteers as part of the History of Place Project, delivered by Accentuate.  History of Place is a nationally significant social history programme which will chart disabled people’s lives from the middle ages until the late 20th century in relation to built heritage. In Liverpool the project is investigating the Royal School for the Blind, established in 1791.  Read more…

‘IT’ – a poem by by Peter Ogunsiji

5 September 2016 by Sarah

‘Sugar Coated’, an art work produced by Peter Ogunsiji in relation to the poem, ‘IT’. Courtesy of Peter Ogunsiji.

‘Sugar Coated’, an art work produced by Peter Ogunsiji in relation to the poem, ‘IT’. Courtesy of Peter Ogunsiji.

Peter Ogunsiji is an issues-based artist from Toxteth in Liverpool, who aims to create works stimulating awareness, discussion and action.

Peter is a good friend of the Museum and has sent us the below poem, inspired by his recent volunteering work with Action for Blind People to raise awareness of diabetes related vision loss – Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are 50% more likely to develop these conditions than Europeans. The poem is called ‘IT’ . Can you guess what ‘IT’ is?

Read more…



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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.