*SLAVES TO THE PAST*
Tate Britain, London
May 21, 2007, 6.30 pm
Part of Museums and Galleries Month
March 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. Is this cause for celebration, or should we instead reflect on the evil of slavery itself? Many museums, galleries and heritage organisations are taking the opportunity to explore the legacy of the slave trade, and their own role in it as institutions implicated in the politics of Empire. How should they approach this? Should museums make restitution for collections built on slavery, for example? Or are there problems with the current preoccupation with documenting and commemorating slavery? Does the focus on man's inhumanity to man obscure the more inspiring lessons of history? Are museums and heritage organisations neglecting their responsibility to document the past objectively, by engaging in 'the politics of apology'?
- Josie Appleton: convenor, Manifesto Club, and freelance journalist
- Maurice Davies: Deputy Director, Museums Association
- David Miles: English Heritage and author of The Tribes of Britain
- Dr Mike Phillips OBE: novelist, historian, curator and Cross Cultural Consultant - Tate
Chair: Tiffany Jenkins: Arts and Society Director, Institute of Ideas
Tickets are free but must be reserved.
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