On 23 August 1791, enslaved people on the island of Santo Domingo (modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) rose up against French colonial rule.
The uprising played a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
That's why, on 23 August each year, we commemorate the long struggle for emancipation throughout the world.
Join us at the National Maritime Museum for a day of talks, workshops and performances exploring the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies.
The day will end with an emancipation ceremony, where visitors and performers can join together in a procession from the National Maritime Museum to the River Thames.
All events on the day are free, but due to current COVID-19 guidelines you need a ticket to enter the National Maritime Museum.
Book online in advance to guarantee entry.
Welcome ceremony (live streamed here)
|Atlantic Worlds intervention||Atlantic Worlds gallery||From 11am|
with Usifu Jalloh
11.45am, 1.30pm & 4pm
Explore the Archive
with curator Aaron Jaffer
|Meet at Tudor & Stuart Seafarers gallery||12pm|
|Stella Dadzie and Karen McLean
A baptism of fire
12.45pm & 1.45pm
|Quadrille dance||Learning space||
|Launch of Liquid Carbon||Atlantic Worlds||1pm|
|Slavery in Greenwich
Walking tour with S.I. Martin
|Meet at Ship in a Bottle||1pm|
|The Haitian revolution
Lecture with S.I. Martin
|Quadrille performance||North Lawns||2.15pm|
|Emancipation ceremony||Meet at Museum main entrance||From 2.30pm|
What is International Slavery Remembrance Day?
Between the 1400s and 1800s, 12-15 million men, women and children were forcibly transported from Africa to the Americas.
This day stands as a reminder of the bravery, courage, resilience and determination of enslaved African people who continuously fought for their freedom.
It is a time to remember that people fought and died to establish their own freedom and liberation from the tyranny of enslavement.
The day also raises the contemporary legacies of transatlantic slavery, which are manifested in the continued racism and prejudice against Black and Caribbean communities.
UNESCO selected the 23 August to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. 23 August was the day that self-liberated enslaved people on the island of Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) rose up against French colonial rule, and played a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
In 2007, Britain commemorated 200 years since the 1807 Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, which outlawed the trade throughout the British Empire and made it illegal for British ships to be involved in it.
This marked the beginning of the end for the transatlantic traffic in human beings as a legalised trade. This was however, one year of many in the long struggle for emancipation throughout the world.
This illegal trade continued for many years afterwards and slavery itself was not abolished in some countries until the late 1880s.
About the artwork
LIQUID CARBON (2021) is a digitised collage of drawings of water and paintings printed on mirrored aluminium, created by artist Deanio X and commissioned by the National Maritime Museum. It is currently on display in the Museum's Atlantic Worlds gallery.
"The work explores the resilience and resourcefulness of the African diaspora in response to the colonising project of the British empire," explains the artist. "The composite artwork builds upon motifs of blood, culture and memory to evoke a chaotic scene of resistance in the Atlantic Ocean’s middle passage and contemplates how the ripples of history return to meet us in the future."
Seed of the Fruit is a new poem written by Mark Thompson and commissioned by the National Maritime Museum.
In the piece, the Anglo-Jamaican spoken word artist explores both his and Britain's connection to the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans.
World Views: the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Young Historians Project volunteer Kaitlene Koranteng discusses some of the objects in the Royal Museums Greenwich collection, and what they tell us about the histories surrounding the slave trade.
Sound and memory
Listen to a playlist inspired by International Slavery Remembrance Day.
Choose your tickets
Entry to the National Maritime Museum is free, but you must have a ticket to visit. Book online to guarantee entry. See all tickets and prices
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|Individual: £50||Individual: £60|
|Family: from £65||Family: from £75|