Note No. 5910
Note to Correspondents
‘LEST WE FORGET: THE TRIUMPH OVER SLAVERY’ EXHIBITION OPENS TOMORROW
AT HEADQUARTERS IN OBSERVANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, 10 DECEMBER
In observance of Human Rights Day, an exhibition will open in the North-East Gallery of the General Assembly Visitors’ Lobby at 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 December. Entitled “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery”, this enlightening exhibition offers an inspiring look at the cultural, political, economic and social practices that enslaved Africans developed while enduring the dehumanizing conditions of slavery. It will remain on view through 20 January 2005.
“Lest We Forget” is an exhibition created by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Slave Route Project to mark the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution proclaiming 2004 the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition. The “Lest We Forget” project is funded by UNESCO.
The exhibition is unique in that it focuses less on enslaved Africans as victims and more on the ways in which they reshaped their destinies and place in history through the creation of distinct cultures. In addition, “Lest We Forget” explicitly demonstrates the huge economic impact of the slave trade and enslaved African labour on the development of the Americas and Europe and the concomitant disruption of Africa’s economic, political and social life. Some of the lasting cultural contributions explored include language, religion, music and institutions.
The UNESCO is featuring “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery” as the travelling exhibition for its year-long commemoration. The Slave Route Project, officially mandated in 1993 by a resolution of the General Conference of UNESCO, seeks to end the silence surrounding the slave trade and slavery. Since its inception, the project has used its resources to promote research and documentation on the slave trade and slavery in order to educate the international community, with an emphasis on younger generations, of the history and consequences of slavery today.
The SchomburgCenter for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is generally recognized as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. A cultural centre as well as a repository, this Harlem-based modern research library also sponsors a wide array of interpretive programmes, including exhibitions, scholarly and public forums, and cultural performances. For nearly 80 years The Schomburg Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of black history and culture.
The exhibition is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information. For more information on the exhibition, call Jan Arnesen at (212) 963-8531 or Liza Wichmann at (212) 963-0089.
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