Essential Information

Type Events and festivals
Location
National Maritime Museum
Date and Times Returning in 2024
Prices Free

On 23 August 1791, enslaved people on the island of Saint Domingue (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, the National Maritime Museum commemorates International Slavery Remembrance Day and the long struggle for emancipation throughout the world.

2023 event programme

From talks to tours, find out what's taking place in and around the National Maritime Museum.

Opening ceremony

Come and listen to a performance given by the Ethno Vox choir and our keynote speaker, Rasheeda Page-Muir. A TEDx speaker, poet and award-winning community organiser, Rasheeda has spent over a decade providing a platform for social and political debate amongst young people in Woolwich and its surrounding areas. 

11am-11.30am | The World Reimagined Globes, North Lawns or on the Great Map if raining. 

Image of Rasheeda Page-Muir giving a TEDx talk

Curator discussion

Join our Curator of World History & Cultures to explore a selection of fascinating, moving and powerful images from our collections. Chose an island, country or region to hear stories from that part of the world, including how different people fought against slavery.

11.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 2.30pm | Parkside entrance, Floor 0

Snippets of local history

Join the Caribbean Social Forum to find out more about Greenwich's link to the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans. 

11.30am - 3.30pm | Propeller Space, Floor 0

Games without wires

Take a break with the Caribbean Social Forum and play a variety of games.

11.30am - 4pm | Figurehead Space, Floor 0

Freedom fighters trail

A digital artwork of Nanny of the Marrons by artist, Karen McLean, showing a defiant Nanny in black and white with her right fist held in the air

Head to the Atlantic Worlds gallery for the launch of our digital trail, created by historian Stella Dadzie. Join Stella to uncover stories of resistance, drawn from the National Maritime Museum's collections.

11.45am - 12.45pm | Atlantic Worlds gallery, Floor 1

Creative connections

Join Eli Anderson for traditional storytelling focusing on wellbeing and healing (suitable for all ages).

11.45am - 12.15pm; 1.30pm - 2pm; 2.30pm - 3pm | Voyagers gallery, Floor 0

Outdoor art

Take time to explore The World Reimagined globes on the lawns of the National Maritime Museum, covering themes from racial justice to emancipation. Join art historian, Fiona Compton for exclusive tours around the installation.

12pm - 1pm and 2pm - 3pm

Photograph showing an art installation outside the National Maritime Museum. A series of artfully decorated globes are spread out on the lawns in front of the main building. Portraits of young Black people are visible on some, while another features a black and white striped pattern

daughter(s) of diaspora

Watch the first public screening of daughter(s) of diaspora. Produced and directed by researcher Dr Nydia A. Swaby, the artwork is rooted in the afterlife of transatlantic slavery and colonialism.

Screening and panel discussion 12:45pm - 1.45pm | Lecture Theatre, Floor 0

Live performances by Foluke Taylor, Selena Seballo and Jahmila Heath 2.30pm - 3pm | Atlantic Worlds gallery, Floor 1

Repeated screening of daughter(s) of diaspora  without panel discussion 3.30pm - 4pm | Lecture Theatre, Floor 0

Image of women standing in the Queen's House
daughter(s) of diaspora, filmed in the Queen's House in Greenwich

Interviewing objects

Join the Deptford People's Heritage Museum to critically engage with objects in the Atlantic Worlds gallery.

1pm - 2pm | Atlantic Worlds Gallery, Floor 1

Seeing ourselves in the archives

Visit the Caird Library to look at records depicting people of African descent with artist Sharon Walters and host of the Seeing Ourselves podcast plus historian, Nadia Denton.

1pm - 1.45pm and 2.30pm - 3.15pm | Caird Library, Floor 1

Sharon Walters and Nadia Denton stand together in the Caird Library

Interactive workshops

Hear from Jay Percy, British Afro-Caribbean medicine woman, artist and spiritual podcaster for a talk and workshop charting the history of spiritual herbalism across the African Diaspora. Suitable for ages 12+.

Spiritual Herbalism Talk | 2pm - 2.45pm, Lecture Theatre, Floor 0

Interactive Workshop | 3pm - 4pm, Learning Space, Floor 0

We're gonna tell our story

Listen to spoken word by poet and youth activist, Divine Mankumbani.

2pm - 2.10pm | Atlantic Worlds Gallery, Floor 1

Singing workshop

Join Ethno Vox for a workshop learning songs that will be sung during the Emancipation ceremony at the end of the day.

3pm - 4pm | Group Space, Floor 0

Emancipation ceremony

Participate in a procession from the National Maritime Museum to the River Thames to collectively remember all lives affected by transatlantic slavery.

A drummer and singer perform during an emancipation ceremony as part of Slavery Remembrance Day in Greenwich

Hear from Ethno Vox and listen to a closing speech given by Rasheeda Page-Muir. Rasheeda and poet Ella Otomewo will also recite a live poem created throughout the day to represent our time shared together. 

4pm - 4.40pm | The World Reimagined Globes, North Lawns 

Image
A quote from abolitionist Ignatius Sancho. The quote reads, 'Consider slavery – what it is – how bitter a draught, and how many millions are made to drink it'

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  Saint Domingue (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.

Image
A digitised collage printed on mirrored aluminium

Art and intervention at the National Maritime Museum

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 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.

Find more work by Mark Thompson

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.

What’s On

Find more events at the National Maritime Museum.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Image showing mountain and rocks in foreground, with rippling emerald aurora in the sky behind the mountain, which is reflected in a pool of water
Exhibitions

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

See the world's greatest space photography at the National Maritime Museum
Open daily | 10am-5pm
Adults £10 | Concessions £6.50 | Children £5 | Free for all visitors from 13 March
National Maritime Museum
Women of the RNLI
Black and white portrait of a woman leaning against a boat
Exhibitions

Women of the RNLI

Celebrate 200 years of saving lives at sea at the National Maritime Museum
Opening Saturday 2 March 2024
Free
National Maritime Museum
Play Tuesdays
Family fun

Play Tuesdays

Bring your under 5 on a different adventure every week! Explore the Museum together through song, dance and stories
Term time Tuesdays | 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.00pm, 2.00pm
£4 per child and accompanying adult | Under 6 months free
National Maritime Museum
Women's History Month 2024
a cameo with a painting of a Indian Queen with gold surround
Events and festivals | Women's History Month

Women's History Month 2024

Celebrate the lives and achievements of pioneering women
Throughout March
Free Entry
National Maritime Museum
Evening of Astrophotography
Image of many people standing around within a photography gallery with astrophotography images on the walls
Talks and tours | British Science Week

Evening of Astrophotography

Come along to a panel discussion to learn more about astrophotography, and enjoy a private viewing of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023 exhibition.
Friday 8 March 2024 | 6pm-8pm
Adult: £12 | Students & Under 25: £8.50
National Maritime Museum
Character Encounters
Talks and tours

Character Encounters

Visit the National Maritime Museum every Saturday to discover a different character from history with their own fascinating story to tell
Saturdays
Free Entry
National Maritime Museum
Saturday Art Club
Close-up shot of a person's hands as they use a felt-tip pen to draw an intricate pattern on a small piece of wood
Workshops

Saturday Art Club

Join the weekly creative drop-in for young people aged 13-16
Saturdays from October 2023 - April 2024 | 10am-1pm
Free
National Maritime Museum
SENsory Sailors
Sensory Sailors
Family fun

SENsory Sailors

Come along and enjoy this brand new sensory play session for children with special educational needs
Once a month on Saturdays | 11am-12.30pm
Free | Pre-booking required
National Maritime Museum
Discover Sundays
(Source of a mother helping the child to draw using a pencil Picture)
Family fun

Discover Sundays

Each Sunday come and explore the Museum's collection through hands on creative activities
Term time Sundays | 11am - 1pm | 2pm - 4pm
Free | Drop-in
National Maritime Museum
Tea in Transition: Natural Dyeing with Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck
Dyed fabrics hanging from a line
Workshops

Tea in Transition: Natural Dyeing with Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck

Our series celebrating tea continues with a natural dyeing workshop with artist and tea enthusiast Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck
Sunday 10 March 2024 | 2pm - 5pm
£7 Adult
National Maritime Museum
New Members' Tour
Talks and tours | Member events

New Members' Tour

Embark on a voyage of discovery around the Museum in the company of one of our volunteer guides
Various dates | 11am - 12pm
Free | Booking essential
National Maritime Museum
LGBTQ+ Family Network
Family fun | Identity

LGBTQ+ Family Network

A safe space for local LGBTQ+ families to meet one another, get involved in creative activities for all ages and explore the stories within the collection
16 March 2024 | 10am-12pm
Free
National Maritime Museum
Tea in Transition: Herbal Tea Blending Workshop
A red clay teapot and white cup on a black saucer, both placed on a table
Workshops

Tea in Transition: Herbal Tea Blending Workshop

Learn about the healing properties of a range of medicinal plants, and learn how to combine them into unique blends as you create your own herbal teabags
Wednesday 27 March 2024 | 6.30 - 8.30pm
£7 Adults
National Maritime Museum
Safe Harbour
A group of four with adults and children participating in a craft.
Family fun

Safe Harbour

Safe Harbour is a series of free workshops created to provide a safe space for foster and adoptive families with children under 13 years
Monthly: Next date 30 March 2024 | 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Ticketed | Free
National Maritime Museum
Caribbean Takeover
A quadrille dance performance, featuring a man and woman in bright red and white chequered cotton dancing arm in arm as a crowd look on
Family fun

Caribbean Takeover

Celebrate black history and culture in Britain with the Caribbean Social Forum as they take over the National Maritime Museum's grounds
Saturday 18 May 2024 | Across the day
Free | No tickets needed
National Maritime Museum
World Oceans Day
A sea turtle breaks the surface of the ocean
Events and festivals

World Oceans Day

A family-friendly celebration of our ocean hosted at the National Maritime Museum
Returning in 2024
Free
National Maritime Museum
Windrush Day
A female singer performs a solo as part of a choir performance. She is holding a microphone and is wearing a black dress with a multicoloured sash over her left arm, with a matching headscarf
Events and festivals

Windrush Day

Celebrate the anniversary of the Empire Windrush's arrival in Britain, and find your own Windrush connection at the National Maritime Museum
Returning in 2024
Free
National Maritime Museum
International Slavery Remembrance Day
A black and white illustration of Phyllis Wheatley, the first black woman to publish a book of poetry in Britain
Events and festivals

International Slavery Remembrance Day

Explore the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition at the National Maritime Museum
Returning in 2024
Free
National Maritime Museum

Choose your tickets

Entry to the National Maritime Museum is free, but you are welcome to book tickets online in advance. Click the links below and select 23 August using the booking calendar. See all tickets and prices

National Maritime Museum

  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Access to all free galleries and activities
  • Paid exhibitions not included
Free entry
Book online
BOOK NOW

Member tickets

  • Unlimited free entry
  • Priority booking and exclusive events
  • Access using your membership card
Membership card number required
BOOK NOW
A father and son look through a porthole on the main deck of historic ship Cutty Sark

Become a Member

  • Unlimited entry all year
  • Royal Observatory
  • Cutty Sark
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Special exhibitions
Direct Debit One-off
Individual: £50 Individual: £60
Family: from £60 Family: from £70
JOIN TODAY