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International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

United Nations activities around the world in 2018

The global network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) held special events across the globe to mark the 2018 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March). The 2018 commemorative activities were held under the theme "Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality”.

Events organized by the Centres ranged from film screenings and discussions to visits to slave ruins and cultural performances. The United Nations Remember Slavery Programme provided educational materials, including a poster exhibit entitled “A Legacy of Black Achievement” in all six official languages of the United Nations, and a film entitled Familiar Faces: Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora in French, Spanish and Portuguese. The exhibit features 22 notable personalities of people of African descent from various fields of work.

The exhibit featured 21 notable personalities from various backgrounds, eras, regions and disciplines who paved the way for civil and human rights. The film highlighted the countless Afro-communities found in unexpected parts of the world, such as Turkey and India, and shows how African descendants maintained elements of their cultural. Additional support materials included the 2018 Ark of Return Calendar, stickers and notepads.

In total, almost 90 activities were organized in 23 countries by the Centres.

AFRICA

Accra, Ghana

In collaboration with Ashesi University College, UNIC Accra organized two commemorative events which included the exhibition “A Legacy of Black Achievement”, and a screening and discussion of the film Familiar faces, Unexpected Places - A Global African Diaspora.

Antananarivo, Madagascar

To mark the international day, UNIC Antananarivo organized a commemorative event on 25 March, which included a workshop, exhibition and panel discussion. Speakers discussed the atrocities that took place during the transatlantic slave trade and modern forms of slavery such as domestic service, forced marriage, human trafficking and underemployment.

Brazzaville, Congo

In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, UNIC Brazzaville hosted a screening and discussion of the documentary film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora. The students and educators in attendance learned about the slave route from Brazzaville to Loango and received a promotional card about the Ark of Return.

UNIC Bujumbura, Burundi

UNIC Bujumbura organized a student briefing and screening of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora and mounted the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement”.

UNIC Dakar

UNIC Dakar organized a screening and discussion of the film The Gorée Memorial, A Monument of African Renaissance in Transatlanticism, in partnership with the Gorée Memorial Foundation. The film tells the journey of the Foundation and its goal to build a monument for the remembrance of the victims of slave trade. The event took place on 27 March at the UNIC. In addition, the UNIC displayed the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement” and screened the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora.

Harare, Zimbabwe

On 26 March, UNIC Harare organized a commemorative event at the Rainbow Towers Hotel. The event began with a viewing of the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement” and was followed by a commemorative ceremony. In his keynote address, Mr. Vusamuzi Ntonga of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade paid tribute to the victims of the slave trade and spoke about modern day slavery. Participants also screened the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora.

Lagos, Nigeria

UNIC Lagos organized a commemorative ceremony on 26 March at the African Church College Ifako Lagos. The event included an educational briefing of the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement” and a screening of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Palces—A Global African Diaspora. UNIC Director Ronald Kayanja underscored the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights and urged youth in attendance to emulate fellow diasporan Africans who have lived above prejudice and discrimination.

Lomé, Togo

UNIC Lomé organized an educational event that included a briefing, a screening of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora and a display of the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement”. The event took place on Tuesday, 20 March 2019 at the Collège Protestant Lomé-Agbalépédogan, with the participation of 1900 students and professors. The event was part of the college’s “Cultural Week”.

Lusaka, Zambia

On 26 and 29 March, UNIC organized two outreach activities at Slaveryat Chibombo Secondary School and Moomba Secondary School in Zambia’s Central Province. Organized in partnership with the Ministry of General Education, the activities included a screening and discussion of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora and a display of the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement”.

Nairobi, Kenya

UNIC Nairobi hosted more than 300 students from eight local universities for a commemorative event, which included a screening and discussion of the film “Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora and display of the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement”. The interactive discussion with students focused on the legacy of slavery and present-day survivors of modern day slavery.

Ouagadougo, Burkina Faso

In partnership with the University of Ouagadougou, UNIC organized lectures about slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, a screening of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places - A Global African Diaspora, and a display of the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement”. The commemorative events took place at the UNIC and ten different high schools, with almost 8,000 students in attendance.

Pretoria, South Africa

On 22 March, UNIC Pretoria organized an educational event with students from Rosebank Primary School in Johannesburg. The event included a screening and discussion of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Place – A Global African Diaspora. Students engaged in a robust discussion about slavery, migration and modern-day slavery in relation to current issues in South Africa such as labour practices and working hours for various people in different employment sectors.

Yaoundé, Cameroon

UNIC organized an educational event at the National Museum in Yaoundé, which included a panel discussion and display of the exhibit titled “A Legacy of Black Achievement”. History students from secondary schools and universities in Yaoundé, and youth representatives from the NGO “Pan African Youth network for Culture of Peace” exchanged information on slavery and UN actions and conventions to completely eradicate discrimination, prejudice and racism today. UNIC Yaoundé provided information kits to the more than 105 participants.

THE AMERICAS

Bogotȧ, Colombia

UNIC Bogota, in close collaboration with the local community of Palenque, produced an original audio-photo documentary exhibit titled Palenque: La Herencia de la Libertad, which highlighted the legacy of freedom in a community of descendants of marooned slaves. The exhibit opened on Friday, 23 March at the Fundación Centro de Cultura Afrocaribe, and visitors were also invited to view the film Familiar Faces/ Unexpected Places - A Global African Diaspora. The exhibit and film rotated to Casa de Cultura in Palenque Village from April 16 to mid-May, and to the Afro community of Pasacaballos, from mid-May until the end of June. Hundreds of students and members of the Afro-communities had the opportunity to explore the African diaspora through the documentary film, and their own Afro-Colombian legacy through the Palenque exhibit.

Mexico City, Mexico

UNIC Mexico organized the participation of Carol Bauer International School in the 10th Annual Global Student Video Conference, which was organized by the Remember Slavery Programme, at United Headquarters in New York, on Friday 27 April 2018. Students from Mexico were invited to share their research on an event or individual that was significant in the struggle for freedom and equality leading up to and post abolition. The programme included a presentation by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations, Mr. Soomauroo; a lecture by Professor Christian Crouch of Bard College; and a presentation by Hossam Younes of Rodney Leon Architects on the Ark of Return.

Panama City, Panama

UNIC Panama City supported the 2018 General Assembly Commemorative Meeting in New York and the participation of Graciela Dixon, former Chief Justice of Panama, who served as the keynote speaker. The UNIC will screen the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora in August 2018.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In 2018, UNIC Rio held a film screening and discussion of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora. Discussions focused on the Quilombolas, descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped plantations, and who struggle for the right to own land today. Participating in the discussion was Professor Luiz Rufino, Doctor in Education at Rio de Janeiro State University.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Canberra, Australia

In partnership with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) and the civil society organizations STOP THE TRAFFIK and Anti-Slavery Australia, UNIC Canberra organized a forum titled “Ending Slavery: Forum on Combatting Slavery Today”. UNIC Director, Christopher Woodthorpe, opened the evening and spoke about the origins of the Day and the exhibit “Remember Slavery: A Legacy of Black Achievement”, which was on display. Guest speaker Grace Thangasamy spoke about modern-day forms of slavery and the legal work she and others were undertaking to combat it.

New Delhi, India

UNIC organized a commemoration at the Ethiopian Cultural Centre in New Delhi. Participants were invited to visit the exhibit titled “A Legacy of Black Achievers”, which was followed by a screening and discussion of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora, Following the commemorative event, the exhibition was displayed at the Art Gallery of the India International Centre Annexe, until 6 April 2018.

EUROPE

Geneva, Switzerland

The exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement” was displayed at the Palais des Nations from 16 to 30 March. The UNIC also disseminated the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day.

Minsk, Belarus

UNO Minsk subtitled the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places—A Global African Diaspora in Russian, and held a screening and discussion of the film at MITSO University.

Yerevan, Armenia

UNO Yerevan organized a screening and discussion of the film Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places – A Global African Diaspora, with students from the Gegharkuniq community. The UNO translated the script into Armenian and consecutive translation was provided during the screening. The UNO also produced a roll-up banner, stickers, bookmarks, notepads, pens, handouts and brochures for distribution to participants.

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