August 23: International Slavery Remembrance Day

Posted in museums by Editor on August 16, 2013

Next Friday at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich:


Yinka Shonibare, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, 2010.
The work was displayed on the Fourth Plinth in
Trafalgar Square from 24 May 2010 to February 2012.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons, 2010

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The National Maritime Museum will host a day of remembrance on the anniversary of the first successful slave uprising in the western hemisphere – on 23 August in Haiti in 1791.

This year’s events will explore the Museum’s vast collections relating to the trade of enslaved people, as well as focusing on the many local connections to be found in the Greenwich World Heritage Site. Actor and broadcaster Burt Caesar will act as Master of Ceremonies for the day, which will also see art historian Dr Temi Odumosu discussing the controversial Cruickshank caricature The New Union Club; composer Dominique LeGendre giving a talk on black composers from the period of enslavement; and historian S. I. Martin revealing the hidden impact of the transatlantic slave trade during a walk around Greenwich. Unless otherwise stated, events are suitable for all ages.

Dr Temi Odumosu: The New Union Club | 12.30 | Age: 16+ | Art historian and creative educator Dr Temi Odumosu will explore the themes and attitudes of George Cruickshank’s The New Union Club, which is considered one of the most racist and complex prints of the 19th century.

Dominique LeGendre: Black Composers in the period of Enslavement | 14.00 | Critically acclaimed composer Dominique LeGendre discusses the impact and work of influential black composers during the period of enslavement, including the celebrated Ignatius Sancho.

Life of Ignatius Sancho interactive tour | Age: 10+. Maximum of 30 places on each tour | 12.00, 15.00 | Storyteller Rich Sylvester will lead interactive family learning tours around Greenwich Park, exploring Ignatius Sancho’s early life. Starting at Yinka Shonibare MBE’s eminent Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, the tour concludes at The Ranger’s House, and with a ceremony investigating the importance of names. Young people are invited to leave their names in remembrance.

Walk to St. Alfege Church | 14.00 | Historian S. I. Martin will lead a walking tour to St. Alfege Church, Greenwich, looking into the impact that the slave trade had on Greenwich families. The walk begins at the Group Entrance of the Museum.

Youth Advisory Group textile workshop | 11.30, 14.00 | Join the Museum’s Youth Advisory Group in creating prints using adinkra symbols. Originally from the Republics of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the symbols are used as both decoration and to represent objects, capturing evocative messages that carry traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.

Songs of Freedom: workshop | Age: All ages and abilities welcome | 13.00, 15.30 | Singing group Ethnovox will lead a workshop exploring how songs were used as a powerful medium of resistance, and for messages of solidarity, hope and freedom.

Alternative Gallery Tour: mobile learning session | 12.30 | Take a tour of The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire gallery, using a tablet to learn about the movement of people, goods and ideas across and around the Atlantic Ocean, from the 17th century to the 19th century.

What’s in a Name? workshop | 11.00, 13.30 | Uncover the journeys that have brought people’s names to Britain, and discuss what your name means to you.

Tracing History: archive session | Age: 10+ | 11.30 | Join historian S. I. Martin in the Museum’s Compass Lounge to investigate transatlantic slavery through rare and revealing manuscripts; and unlock hidden histories of enslaved people and their struggle for freedom.

Closing ceremony | Age: 14+ | 16.15 | Broadcaster and actor Burt Caesar will lead the closing ceremony, which will take place by the River Thames at the Water Gates at the Old Royal Naval College. Participants are invited to scatter rose petals into the river as an act of silent commemoration.

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