A Shared History, A Shared Future
During 2007 we commemorated 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade act in the British Empire.
Unfortunately this did not signal the end of exploitation of people for the purpose of cheap labour.
Even by conservative estimates, there are more slaves now than ever before, mostly women and children. We in Birmingham have a shared responsibility for slavery in the past and now, but also the means to challenge it.
This project explored the ways in which slavery in all its forms throughout history has operated, and how it relates to our lives in Birmingham. We worked with over 1000 people in Birmingham, in over 150 workshops, reaching many more people through our audiences, examining issues related to slavery, working with artists and heritage experts, using material within the libraries and Archives and Heritage. Participants worked to create stories, artwork, banners, protests, games, films, dances, drama, video performance and many other art forms, to express our emotions, our understanding, our empathy and disgust of slavery.
We will continue to work with community groups, youth groups, and others in Birmingham to raise the issues, open debate, and campaign to end slavery. Our resource pack, the liberty box, will open up new ways to explore the issues of slavery. We will continue Birmingham rich tradition of protest and resistance to the slavery.
Throughout the project schools and community groups took the opportunity to have their own performances.