Modern-day slavery put in spotlight

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Elizabeth Kwant in the installation ©Liverpoolmuseums

Elizabeth Kwant in the installation. Pic  © Liverpool Museums

Colonial slavery and modern-day human trafficking form the focus of a new moving image installation at the International Slavery Museum.

Elizabeth Kwant’s ‘Am I Not a Woman and a Sister’ highlights the realities of modern-day slavery, and reminds us of Liverpool’s dark history with the Transatlantic slave trade.

The new exhibition, which opened on November 15th, is the result of a collaboration between Kwant and choreographer, Magdalen Barlett Luambia,  to help female survivors create their own performances, which eventually became a film.

Ms Kwant told JMU Journalism: “I became interested in the places and people linked to the slave trade in Liverpool and the North West.

YouTube: Lewis Batty

“During my research, I visited a number of places; parks, stately homes, monuments and galleries which have ties to the trade in slaves.

“I hope that exhibiting my work in Liverpool will create an ongoing conversation with the history of the city in relation to the Transatlantic slave trade.

“I specifically wanted to work with female survivors, inviting them to create their own movements and thus the performance became embodied.

“I hope the film causes people to remember the past and perhaps realise the complex nature of slavery and go away with a greater awareness that modern-day slavery is happening right on our doorsteps.”

The work is the result of a year-long project which included researching the archives and collections of the International Slavery and Maritime Museums, and was made possible by partners City Hearts, a charity devoted to helping victims of human trafficking.

As well as the film, the exhibition, which runs until February 15th, also includes transcribed conversations with the female participants and behind the scenes photos.

About Lewis Batty, JMU Journalism