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.

Keep an eye on this page for details about our 2024 commemorations. 

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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.

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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
Exhibitions

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

See the world's greatest space photography at the National Maritime Museum
Open daily until 27 August 2024 | 10am-5pm
Free
National Maritime Museum
Women of the RNLI
Exhibitions

Women of the RNLI

Celebrate 200 years of saving lives at sea at the National Maritime Museum
2 March – 1 December 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
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
Safe Harbour
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 29 June 2024 | 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Ticketed | Free
National Maritime Museum
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
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
20 July | 10am-12pm
Free
National Maritime Museum
Maritime Madness: Art in the Park
Experiences

Maritime Madness: Art in the Park

Get ready for an afternoon of outdoor craft, making, and live performance, produced and curated by the 2024 Youth Collective
Saturday 27 July | 12-3pm
Free
National Maritime Museum
Young Creatives
Workshops

Young Creatives

Be part of our Young Creatives and ReThink Residency projects for young people during school holidays
Young Creatives: Monday 31 July – Thursday 01 August & ReThink Residency: Monday 12 - Friday 16 August I 10.30am to 3pm daily
Free
National Maritime Museum
International Slavery Remembrance Day
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
BSL Tour: Women of the RNLI
Talks and tours | BSL tours

BSL Tour: Women of the RNLI

Join historian and guide John Wilson at the National Maritime Museum, for a BSL tour of the latest exhibition Women of the RNLI
Friday 23 August 2024 | 2-3pm
Free
National Maritime Museum
Saturday Art Club
Workshops

Saturday Art Club

Join the weekly creative drop-in for young people aged 13-16 during term time at the National Maritime Museum
Saturdays from October 2024 - April 2025 | 10am-1pm
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

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