The Slave Route
When artists tell the memory of slavery: A day to remember at UNESCO
On 4 September 2015, UNESCO’s Slave Route project, in association with the Galerie Vallois, the cultural organization Fait à Cuba and the French National Committee for the memory and history of slavery (CNMHE), has organized an important event at UNESCO headquarters in order to explore the interactions between arts and the memory of slavery. More
Ignorance or concealment of major historical events constitutes an obstacle to mutual understanding, reconciliation and cooperation among peoples. UNESCO has thus decided to break the silence surrounding the slave trade and slavery that have affected all continents and have caused the great upheavals that have shaped our modern societies.
The Slave Route Project, launched in Ouidah, Benin, in 1994, has three objectives, namely to:
- Contribute to a better understanding
of the causes, forms of operation, issues and consequences of slavery in the world (Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean, the
Indian Ocean, Middle East and Asia);
- Highlight the global transformations and
cultural interactions that have resulted from this history; and
- Contribute to a culture of peace by promoting reflection on cultural pluralism, intercultural dialogue and the construction of new identities and citizenships.
The project has played a significant role in securing recognition by the United Nations, at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban in 2001, of the slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.