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Win a copy of our new Transatlantic Slavery book

29 September 2010 by davidl

Book cover

Transatlantic Slavery: An Introduction

Our new publication Transatlantic Slavery: An Introduction has hit the shelves. 

The book draws on the wealth of material held by the International Slavery Museum and tells of the 400-year period in which at least 12 million Africans were taken into slavery in the largest forced migration in human history. With a foreword by Reverend Jesse Jackson it’s an excellent introduction to the subject.

With Black History Month just around the corner, it’s a fitting time for the launch of the book which examines an important chapter in Black history. Don’t forget to check our special programme of free events throughout October. Read more…

Campaign Zone opens at the International Slavery Museum

10 September 2010 by Sam

man in museum gallery

Stephen Carl-Lokko at the entrance of the new Campaign Zone

As you will no doubt be aware the International Slavery Museum has never been content just to reflect on the history of the transatlantic slave trade, its abolition and legacies. Anyone who has read the excellent blog posts by the head of the museum Richard Benjamin will know that it is an active campaigning museum which works to raise awareness of modern forms of slavery and how people can help in the fight against them.

This has led the museum to hold the Trafficked exhibition and acquire and exhibit thought provoking items such as the ankle bracelets worn by modern day slaves and the artwork ‘Missing’ (2007) by Rachel Wilberforce, all of which are currently on display. Read more…

New books available to buy and win

31 August 2010 by Karen

Book cover showing The Beatles and The Zutons

The Beat Goes On: Liverpool, Popular Music and the Changing City

It’s all go on the publications front at NML with new titles arriving and due shortly.

You may already know that we recently launched a book to accompany the Hitched exhibition at Sudley House. Also called Hitched it features 13 beautiful wedding outfits in full colour, together with close-up details and many original wedding photographs. It’s a snip at £4.95 and is available through our venue shops and our online bookshop.

If you enjoyed The Beat Goes On exhibition at World Museum last year then the new book of the same name is for you. It is a critical historical account of popular music in Liverpool, looking at why the city is so important musically and how has it sustained its importance, from the Beatles to the Zutons and beyond. It’s also available to buy online and through our venues. Read more…

Ask a curator!

26 August 2010 by Lisa

Ask a curator day logo

Have you ever wanted to know about how you look after an Egyptian mummy? Do you ever dream of putting together your own art exhibition? If you’d like to ask some of our museum and gallery curators a question about what they do then read on…

Ask a Curator day is Wednesday 1 September and curators from all over the world are signing up to take part in this giant Q&A session – taking place on Twitter!

We are joining in and want you to ask our curators questions on either art, slavery or Egyptology, as these are their specialist subjects.

We have three great experts ready to answer you; Egyptologist Ashley Cooke, art curator Laura MacCulloch and curator of transatlantic slavery Angela Robinson. Read more…

Ankle bracelet tells of modern day slavery

10 August 2010 by Sam

simple brass coloured u-shaped bangle

This bracelet may look like a beautiful piece of jewellery but the story behind it is much less attractive. Curator of transatlantic slavery Rebecca Watkin explains:


“The International Slavery Museum team have recently displayed two ankle bracelets which have been donated by Anti-Slavery International. One of the ankle bracelets was ‘worn’ by a young girl in Niger who was subjected to a form of descent based slavery.

Descent based slavery occurs in some countries where people are either born into or are from a group that society views as suited for being used as slave labour. People from this group are not allowed to own land or inherit property and denied an education, a status which is carried from one generation to the next.

The bracelets represent the importance of the museum’s work in developing its collections in this area and campaigning on the issue. The team felt it was important to display the ankle bracelets with the personal stories, which really challenge the visitor who believes slavery to be an issue of the past and not of the present. Read more…

A New York perspective on the International Slavery Museum

21 July 2010 by Lynn

Chase Delano, visiting us from Connecticut, close to New York, shares with us her experience of a rainy trip to the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the International Slavery Museum.


Chase Delano

Appropriately, it was raining as I made the trek down to the Merseyside Maritime Museum of Liverpool. Despite the rain, friendly strangers stopped to help point me in the direction of the museum—a kind gesture one might not find in the busy streets of New York, especially on a rainy day. I followed a wet crowd through the gates leading down Albert Dock and into the doors of the museum. The place was filled with people of all ages—from grandparents to grandchildren—and amongst the four floors of different exhibitions, each generation found something of interest to them. Read more…

The beauty of humanity shines through

8 June 2010 by Sam

young woman sitting in an office

It’s great to see our venues through fresh eyes. One of our work placement volunteers has written this great review of the International Slavery Museum, which has made me want to visit it all over again:


“My name is Lauren Edwards and I have been volunteering for National Museums Liverpool for just over a year but have spent the half term shadowing Rebecca Watkin, curator of the International Slavery Museum. Working within the museums is something that is both diverse and challenging and the International Slavery Museum has been a great place to gain experience and see how much National Museums Liverpool has to offer. The International Slavery Museum is unique in its subject content and links to the city and is a groundbreaker and I have found it a privilege to spend time there. From dealing with enquires behind the scenes, to assisting on handling sessions on the gallery floor, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience and the International Slavery Museum and would encourage all to pay a visit.

As you enter the International Slavery Museum the Slavery Wall begins a journey into the history of transatlantic and modern slavery, life in Africa itself and the legacy that slavery has left behind but also acts as a physical reminder of the pain and suffering, yet hope and strength that those touched by slavery showed. It iincludes quotes such as:

“I prefer liberty with danger, than peace with slavery.”

The above quote, though anonymous, shows the conflict that runs through though the history and debate of transatlantic slavery and indeed thought the gallery itself.  Perhaps it is yet more significant through its anonymity amongst the quotes from politicians and activists, as a voice of all those nameless but not forgotten enslaved people which the International Slavery Museum can help to remember. Read more…

Captive skills

7 June 2010 by stepheng

I like traditional African arts and crafts, particularly things made out of wood and leather that reflect the ancient cultures of the continent.

The spread of African civilisation along the slave trade routes was something people who operated the evil trade probably did not anticipate.  Enslaved Africans brought strong cultural identities and a wide range of skills when they were forcibly taken across the Atlantic to work in the Americas.

Liverpool slave ship captains traded goods for human cargoes on the African coast then took their captives across the infamous Middle Passage to the New World. Read more…

Something for Thursdays

21 April 2010 by Kay C

Thursday afternoons are never going to be the same again…

I am really excited about our new Spring 2010 Public Lecture Series, which kicks off tomorrow (April 22). It’s being held at the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, and features a selection of subjects from our museums and galleries’ collections and exhibitions, from archaeology to contemporary slavery.

For the next four Thursdays, our curators will be talking about some of the fascinating things they have researched. Read more…

News from the Grand Rue

10 February 2010 by Richard

Man holding a bracelet

International Slavery Museum collections development officer Stephen Carl-Lokko with ankle bracelet from Niger

Hello

I am sure most people like myself and the staff at International Slavery Museum have been keeping up-to-date with the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Haiti, a result of the catastrophic earthquake on 12 January. Out of this disaster we received some welcome good news recently that one of the Haitian artists involved with the Freedom! sculpture on display in the museum, Guyodo (Frantz Jacques), along with his family, are fine, as well as several colleagues from the Grand Rue artists collective, but sadly his home was destroyed. We are currently looking to develop a long-term sustainable partnership with Haiti, possibly with an artists collective. Due to the imagination and creativity of Haitian artists this is a real possibility. Interestingly the Ghetto Biennale was held in Grand Rue in December which is a fascinating project and a good starting point for any future collaboration. Read more…