NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM MARKS UNESCO INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE SLAVE TRADE AND ITS ABOLITION 2019

On 23 August 2019, The National Maritime Museum will mark UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition with a day of emotive workshops, performances and talks. 

The date commemorates the 1791 Haitian Revolution, an uprising lead by enslaved Africans in Haiti that played a crucial role in the abolition of the international slave trade. Founders UNESCO state that the day “is intended to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples”.

The National Maritime Museum will commemorate the slave trade and its abolition through a series of events, with performances by character actors of Oladauh Equiano and John Simmons, tours of National Maritime Museum galleries and grounds that aim to share previously hidden histories, lectures on Greenwich and its connection to the slave trade, liberation physical theatre workshops and singing workshops led by Ethno Vox.

The day will culminate in a Commemoration Ceremony by the River Thames, inviting participants to scatter white rose petals into the river in an act of silent commemoration.

This reflective series of events will remember the victims of the transatlantic slave trade and provide opportunity for collective consideration of the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition.

 

For more information visit https://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/isrd-2019

Entrance to the museum is free of charge and booking is not required

 

Events

Opening Ceremony

Ethno Vox Conductor and Director of Music Colin Anderson leads songs and speeches to welcome visitors to this day of commemoration.

Time:              11.00

Venue:            Under the Propeller

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

The Powder Monkey

Set on board a slave ship in 1788, this powerful opera created by Brolly Productions

places the experience of Chukwunenye, an enslaved African boy of the Igbo people, centre stage of a diverse cast of characters to reveal the ‘hidden’ histories of slavery. Brolly Productions, a BME led cross-arts company who create innovate performance work for new and diverse audiences, will share an extract from The Powder Monkey and discuss how they created this innovative opera through archival research and features music drawn from African, Indian and English classical traditions to explore the sensitive history of Britain’s role in the slave trade.

Times:            12:00-12:40 | 14.00-14:30

Venue:            Atlantic Worlds Gallery

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Commemoration ceremony

The closing ceremony of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition takes place by the River Thames at the Water Gates of the Old Royal Naval College. Led by Colin Anderson and Ethno Vox choir.

Participants are invited to scatter white rose petals into the river in an act of silent commemoration.

Time:              15.00

Venue:            Begins at the National Maritime Museum

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Talks and Tours

Walking Tour: Black Sailors & Scribes

Author, historian, journalist and teacher, S. I. Martin will lead a walking tour through Greenwich Park asking “What lies beneath your feet?”. The tour will reveal the impact of African sailors and writers who settled in or visited Greenwich, the effect of enslavement upon their lives and the subsequent growth of this part of London.

Times:            13.45-14.30                

Venue:            Meet in Sammy Ofer wing foyer          

Age:                Suitable for 11+

Admission:     Free

Accessibility:             Due to the gradient before the Observatory, the walk may not be ideal for people with mobility issues.

 

Gallery Tour

Join Curator of World Histories Aaron Jaffer for a specially curated gallery tour. You will discover stories and objects in the Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire Gallery in this interactive tour.

Time:              11:45-12:15 | 13.00-13.30

Venue:            Atlantic Worlds Gallery

Age:                Suitable for 11+

Admission:     Free

 

Talk: Collections of Resistance

Join author, historian, journalist and teacher S.I. Martin to discover fascinating stories about resistance to enslavement from the National Maritime Museum's collections and archives.

Time:              12:00-12:30

Venue:            Lecture Theatre

Age:                Suitable for 11+

Admission:     Free

 

Picnic

Bring your own food or make use of the Museum’s two on-site cafés and join us outside for a group picnic. 

Time:              11.45-14.30 

Venue:            Queen’s House Lawn 

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Workshops and Performances

Games without Wires

Join the Caribbean Social Forum to mingle over board games. Meet new people, try out an intriguing selection of games from around the world and learn about their cultural significance.

Time:              12.00-14.30

Location:        Under the Figureheads

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

John Simmonds: A Sailor’s Trafalgar Story

Journey through the museum’s galleries and back in time with this interactive performance. Discover what life was like for a black sailor in Nelson’s navy through the eyes of John Simmonds. From being taken away from his home in Jamaica, to serving at the Battle of Trafalgar, his moving story reveals the surprising realities of a life at sea.

Time:              11.30 | 12.30 | 13.30  

Venue:            Meet in Sammy Ofer wing       

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Oladauh Equiano: From Slave to Freeman to Abolitionist

In this interactive performance, reminisce with Oladauh Equiano as he recounts the story of his life. A journey from his childhood in West Africa, to being kidnapped and transported along the Middle Passage to enslavement, to learning to read and write, to purchasing his own freedom and advocating for the abolition of slavery.

Time:             12.00 | 13.00 | 14.00  

Venue:            Baltic Glass

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Liberation Physical Theatre Workshop

Let performance artist Tatiana Ellis guide you through objects and stories into creating devised performance on liberation. Join her and her team in moving and exploring the feeling of liberation through the making of a short performance piece.

Time:              11:30-12.15 and 12:45- 13:30

Venue:            Voyagers Gallery

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Singing Workshops

Learn to sing songs of freedom with Ethno Vox singers. Find out how songs were used as powerful tools of resistance and solidarity amongst enslaved peoples.

Time:              11:45-12.30 and 13:15- 14:00

Venue:            Seminar room

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

Reflection and Feedback Space

A space for quiet reflection, commemoration and feedback.  Share your experiences, tell your stories and create your own legacy.  Participate in a community feedback session to share your experiences of the day, what you would like to see more of in future and ideas for what a legacy collection looks like. 

Time:              12.00-14.30

Venue:            Briefing Space

Age:                Suitable for all ages

Admission:     Free

 

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