AHRC image gallery marks Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October 2018

To mark Anti-Slavery Day (18 October 2018) the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is publishing an online gallery featuring images from Imagining Freedom, the world’s first archive of murals focused on modern slavery and human trafficking.

Imagining Freedom was launched in 2018 as part of the AHRC-funded project, Antislavery Usable Past which is embedding the lessons of past antislavery movements into the contemporary movement to end global slavery, including the role of imagery in past and present antislavery campaigns.

The Antislavery Usable Past project is led by led by Kevin Bales, Research Director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, the world’s largest cohort of modern slavery academics, and includes Zoe Trodd, Director of the Rights Lab.

Charlotte James, a PhD student Research Associate with the Rights Lab, and co-creator of the collection with Professor Trodd, said, ‘There are currently approximately 130 murals on the website. The collection shows the emergence of the modern slavery mural movement from the early 2000s to today, and depicts modern slavery in general, alongside more specific types, including forced sexual exploitation and forced labour.’

Professor Zoe Trodd said: “What we see in this fantastic collection is the power of murals and street art to bring together local communities, raise awareness, provide a jumping-off point for community education, and offer art therapy opportunities.

“As our global antislavery community works towards a slavery-free world by 2030, artists have a key role to play in helping to build slavery-free communities and cities, and I would like to see an antislavery mural in every town and city!”

The project is part of the Rights Lab’s mission to help meet the global political commitment to end slavery by 2030.

Further to the gallery, a new publication from the AHRC, Slavery past and present (PDF, 677KB), looks at the impact that arts and humanities researchers are having in the shaping of our understanding of historic and modern slavery.

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