Contemporary commemoration

The Slave Trade Abolition Bill was passed through Parliament on 25 March 1807. The Museum will mark this year with a range of events including film, poetry, music, conferences, discussion and specially tailored family activities.

2007 Bicentenary for the Abolition of the British Slave Trade Act2007 Bicentenary for the Abolition of the British Slave Trade Act. The 1807 Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade 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 transatlantic traffic in human beings as a legalized trade. 1807 is one year of many in the long struggle for emancipation throughout the world.

Voiceless Odysseys: excavating the unspeakable in enslavement

Date: 27 September 2007, 14.00–19.00Tickets: £15/£10Bookings: 020 8312 8560 or

2007 offers an opportunity to re-examine how the history of enslavement is both represented and remembered. What is voiced and what is left unspoken in our collective consciousness of enslavement? How do our cultural translations of the past constitute historical legitimacy in the present? This symposium draws together artists and academics to recover hidden histories.

Programme details:

14.00–14.15: Introduction by Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations

14.15–15.00: Problematic Histories: the slave trade, slavery and emancipation – Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History, University College London

15.00–15.45: Blighty, Guinea, Dixie – Mary Evans, London-based Nigerian artist working primarily in installation and intervention and Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins

15.45–16.00 Refreshments

16.00–16.15: Introduction by Dr David Dibosa, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory, University of the Arts, London

16.15–17.00: Hawkins and Co – Kimathi Donkor, London-based artist concerned with the cultural representation of oppression and resistance

17.00–17.45: The Mask. Remembering Slavery, Understanding Trauma – Grada Kilomba, writer from the West African Islands São Tomé e Príncìpe and lecturer at the Free University, Berlin

17.45–18.15: All group panel discussion and Q&As

18.15–18.30: Refreshments

18.30–19.00 Poetry readings by John Agard