Following initial discussions in early 2021, with a group of interested practitioners, local activists and community historians and a series of additional detailed meetings between representatives of the virtual Museum of Slavery & Freedom (MoSAF) and the Empathy & Risk project, a pilot collaboration has been initiated for the purpose of delivering an arts-led research programme. The project is designed to raise awareness of the history of the slave trade in Deptford and to increase engagement with MoSAF’s longer term ambition to establish a permanent museum within the area.
The project now brings together artists, curators, representatives of several local communities in Deptford, South-East London; and academics from Cardiff University, Sheffield Hallam University, Southampton University and UAL. As a group, we want to work on three primary aspects:
- Researching the history of the substantial role of London in the post-Wilberforce global Slave Trade. From our research and conversations, we aim to commission texts by key researchers and publish them together with a growing annotated map of significant locations and related stories.
- Curating and commissioning artist responses to the relevant local historical heritage. The artists involved in the group will be commissioned interventions in public space and visual/video responses
- Engaging a wide audience, exploring the complex history of slavery through a multi-modal programme of participatory projects, multi-disciplinary symposia, cultural projects and public presentations.