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Posts tagged with 'slavery'

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 Stephen

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


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…

Why slavery?

25 January 2010 by Stephen

painting of sailing ships in the Mersey with Liverpool in the background

‘A view of Liverpool’ by Henry Freeman James from Merseyside Maritime Museum

I find the subject of slavery deeply disturbing and the more we find out about its workings, the greater the sense of disbelief.

It is astonishing that misery, disease and death could be imposed upon other human beings on such a vast scale. There are many important lessons to be learnt from the slave trade.  

The native peoples of the Americas and Caribbean were profoundly affected or exterminated and their cultures largely destroyed following the arrival of Europeans. Read more…

Another great year for the International Slavery Museum

21 December 2009 by Richard

woman holding a certificate

Rebecca Watkin, curator of transatlantic slavery, with the 2009 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize certificate, in front of the Trafficked exhibition

Hello thereWell it has been another great year for the museum in so many ways, not least the fact we have now had over 850,000 visitors, but it has also been challenging, thought provoking and indeed humbling. There have been many highlights and some not so highlights of 2009. We were extremely proud that we achieved an Honourable Mention as part of the 2009 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence which rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.  It showed the museum was seen as a human rights campaigner by its peers. We also made the final of the National Lottery Good Causes awards and the European Museum of the Year awards in Bursa, Turkey.  We did not win but it was still a significant achievement for a museum which is only 2 years old.  We have hosted several very successful exhibitions including Black Britiannia and Trafficked and been visited by a host of important, interesting and often well known people such as the civil rights activist Diane Nash, who give the annual Slavery Remembrance Day memorial lecture, and the Liverpool boxing legend John Conteh. In February Richard LeBaron, Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy and Simon Woolley, national co-ordinator of Operation Black Vote, unveiled a plaque of President Barack Obama. Added to all this we continue to offer a vibrant learning programme which is both original and often groundbreaking.  There have unfortunately been some less celebratory events. In particular the loss of John Hope Franklin, one of the most important American historians of the 20th century and a great advocate of the International Slavery Museum. He will be fondly remembered by myself and all those fortunate to have met him. The year shockingly also saw the British National Party gain a degree of political kudos by winning seats at the European elections. Rather than sit idly by I hope that like the museum you support the Hope Not Hate campaign and make a stand against such organisations.Looking ahead I am convinced that International Slavery Museum will have an exciting, challenging and successful 2010. We are planning many events, for instance on 18 January (Martin Luther King Day in the US) we will be showing the film ‘Boycott’ about the 1955 Montgomery Bus boycott as a mark of respect. The inaugural Federation of Human Rights Museums (FIHRM) conference will also be held at the International Slavery Museum, which will bring together some of the leading human rights museums and institutions across the globe to see how we can work together to challenge issues such as racism and discrimination and the rise of the far right. The museum will continue to support Black History Month in October and there will be the annual Slavery Remembrance Day events. In March we will be launching a new exhibition called Beyond the Boundary which explores the relationship between cricket, culture, class and politics. There will be much much more so watch this space. By for now and I hope that many of you have a visit to the museum as one of your New Year resolutions!

Slavery Remembrance Day Festival 2009

25 August 2009 by Sam

Here’s a special report on this year’s Slavery Remembrance Day Festival from our ‘woman on the ground’, Claire Benjamin:

Diane Nash

Diane Nash. Copyright Simon Webb

“Over 5000 visitors enjoyed a weekend-long programme of events during the Slavery Remembrance Day Festival 2009. Held from 21-23 August, it got off to a powerful start with the annual lecture delivered by civil rights activist Diane Nash at Liverpool’s Town Hall. Vikki Evans-Hubbard in role as the young Diane performed a section of ‘Keep Your Eyes On The Prize’, a dramatic retelling of her struggle as a student, before introducing the real Diane Nash to the audience. ‘Keep Your Eyes On The Prize’ is staged regularly at the International Slavery Museum, check the Events and activities page to find out when you can see it next. Read more…

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