15.06.2018 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

"Live Free or Die: Testimonials, remembrance and transmission of artists around slavery”

The event "Live free or die: Testimonials, remembrance and transmission of artists around slavery " took place on 8 June at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This unique event, whose purpose was to introduce overlooked events of history through the arts, music and new technologies, is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the UNESCOS’s Slave Route Project, UNICUM Music and the Memorial ACTe.

Under the theme "Testimonials, remembrance and transmission of artists around slavery ", artists, scholars, personalities and 150 students participated in the cultural and educational activities organized on 8 June at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, as part of the event "Live Free or Die". This initiative supported by the UNESCO’s Slave Route Project, shed lights on the multiple resistances against slavery and the solidarity which has emerged to support the struggles for freedom.

The event started in the afternoon of last Friday, with the launch of the smart vinyl record "Memorial ACTe I & II", performed by the violinist Yorrick Troman (Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.). "Memorial ACTe I & II" was composed by the contemporary musicien, Maxime Lenick, and inspired by the artwork of the Guadeloupe artist Shuck One, entitled "l’Histoire en Marche", which is exhibited on the permanent collection of the Memorial ACTe. The smart vinyl record has an NFC chip integrated that allows the users to connect their smartphones to the vinyl and to access information about the backstage production and many educational contents, including the film “Slave Route: The Soul of Resistance” produced by the Slave Route Project.

This artistic installation and music were inspired by the battle led by Joseph Ignace, Louis Delgrès, Solitude and their companions against the restoration of slavery in Guadeloupe, in 1801.

The students of the Louis Pasteur Elementary School of Sarcelles, the Nelson Mandela College of Blanc-Mesnil and the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart College in Paris have presented to the public the documental, artistic and audiovisual works they conceived on the theme of slavery and slave trade.

To complete the meeting, a panel discussion took place with Frédéric Régent, President of the National Committee for the Memory and History of Slavery, Sylvane Lacher of CNRS, Doudou Diène member of the International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route project, Françoise Vergès, historian and researcher, Chantal Ahounou, teacher of history, Florence Alexis, cultural engineer and the exceptional participation of the ex-footballer Lilian Thuram, President of Lilian Thuram Foundation for Education Against Racism. The interaction between different generations has emphasized how the transmission and dialogue on this subject are at the core of living together.

At the end of the event, all participants received a smart vinyl record "Memorial ACTe I & II" and were invited to test it in an interactive stand. According to the initiators of the project, the idea is that the educational content of the NFC chip will be continually update, providing an interactive and immersive experience for new generations.

In order to raise the awareness among youth and the general public about the importance of a better knowledge of resistances against slavery, the UNICUM Music label and the Memorial ACTe will continue to promote this project around the artwork  l' Histoire en Marche "and the smart vinyl record " Memorial ACTe I & II "in Guadeloupe.

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