21.08.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

August 23, 2012: Remembering the Slave Trade and its Abolition without hate or resentment

Goree on the Slave Route: from memory to forgiveness ©UNESCO Dakar/L. Barro

As part of the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (23 August 2012), BREDA is organizing an exhibition with the visual artist Lamine BARRO entitled "Goree on the Slave Route: from memory to forgiveness."

Tracing the history

The exhibition consists of miniature figurines which recount the history of the slave trade and slavery with a perspective of forgiveness without forgetting.

Lamine Barro is a painter, sculptor and ceramist who designed the exhibition over the past fifteen years. He already had the opportunity to present it in Dakar, Goree, but also in Chicago in the United States.

This year the exhibition will be held at the National Gallery of Art in Dakar, Senegal from August 23 to September 23, 2012. The exhibition is open to the public. 

The program also comprises speeches by the Director of the National Gallery, the Director of BREDA, the Mayor of Dakar and the Minister of Culture and Tourism as well as sketches performed by the theater group called "Hope of the suburbs".

Meditate and reflect on a world free from slavery, oriented towards peace and dialogue

Through this program, UNESCO Dakar invites the public to remember the millions of slaves torn from the Continent and the scope of this historic tragedy.

"This is a double exercise of Remembrance and Recollection in the perspective of UNESCO which excludes hate and bitterness, and is firmly directed towards the promotion of human rights and the construction of a culture of peace through intercultural dialogue," says Christian Ndombi, Regional Advisor for Culture at UNESCO Dakar.

On the night of August 22 to 23, 1791, in Bois-Caiman, in the then French colony of Saint Domingue, the slaves revolted to secure their release. This was the beginning of the process that led to the creation of the Republic of Haiti, the first independent black republic of the world.

"It is for this reason that the date of August 23 has become the symbolic date of the abolition of the slave trade. UNESCO and the international community have chosen it during the General Conference of UNESCO in 1997, to remember the Slave Trade and its Abolition," says Ndombi.

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