The exhibition Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development honours those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slave trade. It was launched last week at UTS Library by Anti-Slavery Australia at a special lunchtime seminar held in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre, Canberra.
Over more than 400 years, 15 million men, women and children were the victims of Transatlantic slavery, one of the darkest chapters in human history. Each year on March 25, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of that system. It also aims to raise awareness about the modern-day dangers of racism and prejudice.
The theme for 2017 is “Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”. It addresses the consequences of the Transatlantic slave trade and highlights the legacy and contributions of people of African descent that have helped to shape societies around the world, and highlights the persistent spirit and innovation of the people in communities affected by the slave trade.
The seminar featured an address by Aminata Conteh-Biger, founder and chief executive of the Aminata Maternal Foundation, who spoke about her experiences growing up in Sierra Leone and escaping to Australia as a refugee after being kidnapped and enslaved during the civil war. Her foundation aims to improve the maternal health and wellbeing of women and children in Sierra Leone, where women face one of the highest lifetime risks of maternal death in the world – one in 17 is likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth.
Other speakers included Christopher Woodthorpe, director of United Nations Information Centre, Canberra, who delivered the UN Secretary General’s message to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance, and UTS Professor Jennifer Burn, director of Anti-Slavery Australia.
The exhibition will continue at UTS Library until Friday May 5, 2017.