UNICs Archive

 

The Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery provides the network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs), Services (UNIS) and Offices (UNOs) in over 60 countries with guidelines and outreach materials for commemoration days. Every year the global network of United Nations Information Centres, United Nations Information Service and United Nations Offices observe the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in partnership with civil society groups and Government representatives. Events at UNICs range from solemn ceremonies, to film screenings, exhibition openings and text messaging campaigns.

 

2022    2019    2018    2017    2016

 


2022

 

Students Visit UNIC Dar es Salaam for an educational event. Photo credit: UNIC Dar es Salaam.

 

United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) in four countries organized activities to mark the 2022 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade under the theme “Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity against Racism”.

The United Nations Outreach Programme on the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery made available the exhibit “Us and Them: From Prejudice to Racism” in Arabic, English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese and Spanish. Social media cards to mark the Day were prepared in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Kiswahili and Portuguese.

The Secretary-General’s video message to mark the Day was shared with UNICs with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. UNIC Ankara also added subtitles in Turkish for its audiences.
 

Brazzaville, Congo

Photo: UNIC Brazzaville organized an educational event at Chaminade Public High School. Photo credit: UNIC Brazzaville.

On 14 April, UNIC Brazzaville, in collaboration with Chaminade Public High School, organized a screening of the film The Road of Slavery to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Following a briefing by National Information Officer Propser Mihindou-Ngoma, students engaged in a conversation about sites of memory and slavery. Approximately 100 students participated in the event. The UNIC promoted the Day on its Facebook account.

 

 

 

 

Bujumbura, Burundi

Photo: UNIC Bujumbura organized an educational event at the University of Ngozi.

To mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, UNIC Bujumbura organized an educational outreach activity in collaboration with Rotaract Club Ngozi, a student association of the University of Ngozi. The activity took place on 31 March at the university. National Information Officer Desire Ndagijimana briefed the students on the United Nations Outreach Programme on the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery and spoke about the history of slavery. Fulgence Twizerimana of Ngozi University also gave a presentation on slavery. Students participated in several activities, including a screening of the film The Slave Route: The Soul of Resistance, a tour of the exhibition "Us and Them: From Prejudice to Racism", and a question-and-answer session focused on lessons learned from the event.

 

 

 

 

Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania

Photo: UNIC Dar es Salaam organized an educational event with students from the Kivinje and Dodomezi Secondary Schools

On 24 March 2022, UNIC Dar es Salaam organized an educational programme with more than 100 students from the Kivinje and Dodomezi Secondary Schools to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The programme began with a discussion on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery. The students learned about the local history of the slave trade and how the town of Kilwa was once a major centre for the trade in ivory and enslaved Africans trafficked from mainland Tanganyika and beyond.  The message of the Secretary-General prepared for the Day was disseminated. The exhibit entitled “Us and Them: From Racism to Prejudice” was displayed at the two schools, and students had an opportunity to tour the exhibit prior to visiting slave trade ruins on the island of Kilwa Kisiwani. The UNIC worked with Tanzania National Parks officials to coordinate a visit to the island, on 25 March 2022. At Kilwa Kisiwani, students visited sites where enslaved Africans were held and places where offenders were thrown to die.  Students visited slave traders’ forts and exhumed mosques and ruins.  The Centre produced a video on the history of the slave trade and the visit to Kilwa Kisiwani  and promoted the activities on its Twitter account.

 

 


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

UNIC Rio launched a digital campaign entitled “Stories of Racism”. The initiative highlighted stories of racism and was promoted on @ONUBrasil social media platforms. Participants were asked to submit stories inspired by the theme “Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity against Racism”. During the five-day campaign, fourteen stories about racism were posted. It was launched on 21 March, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and ended on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The campaign reached 170,964 people and it included two cards, one video and 15 Instagram stories. The Instagram stories reached 43,000 people and received 52,000 views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2019


United Nations Offices and Information Centres across the globe organized a total of 56 activities in 22 countries to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Held under the theme “Remember Slavery: The Power of the Arts for Justice”, activities ranged from film screenings and panel discussions to exhibits and visits to slavery-related ruins.

The United Nations Remember Slavery Programme provided educational materials including a poster exhibit entitled “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” in all six official languages of the United Nations, plus Kiswahili and Portuguese. The exhibit features 11 female and 10 male architects of African descent who have contributed to the field of architecture.

The film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion was offered in English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The United Nations Office (UNO) in Minsk and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Bogotá created subtitles for the film in Russian and Spanish.

 

AFRICA

 

Antananarivo, Madagascar

A student poses a question at the commemorative ceremony organized by UNIC Antananarivo

On 27 March 2019, the UNIC in Antananarivo worked with partners in the UN system and the National Independent Commission on Human Rights to organize a commemorative ceremony to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Participants included representatives from civil society and students from local universities. The UNIC also organized an exhibition on the United Nations Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, also known as the Ark of Return, which was displayed at schools and universities. In addition, the Centre organized two workshops on modern slavery, held at the UNIC and Estiim University; and a screening of the film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion.

Photo: A student poses a question at the commemorative ceremony organized by UNIC Antananarivo (Photo: UNIC Antananarivo)

 

 

Brazzaville, Congo

UNIC National Information Officer Prosper Mihindou-Ngoma with participants

On the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, UNIC Brazzaville organized an outreach event for 100 university students. In his introductory remarks, UNIC National Information Officer Prosper Mihindou-Ngoma spoke about several of the Sustainable Development Goals that were relevant to remembrance of the transatlantic slave trade and modern slavery, including Goals 16 and 17. The students received t-shirts, produced by the Centre and a brochure about the Ark of Return. Participants also viewed the Secretary-General's video message for the day prior to listening to remarks by a guest speaker on the social, economic and cultural legacy of enslaved people from the Central Africa region in Haiti. A question and answer session followed.

Photo: UNIC National Information Officer Prosper Mihindou-Ngoma with participants at the commemorative event to mark the International Day in Brazzaville (Photo: UNIC Brazzaville)
 

 

Bujumbura, Burundi

A student poses a question at the commemorative briefing

Almost 150 students from the Lycée of Bujumbura Islamic Cultural Centre participated in an outreach activity to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, on 27 March 2019 at the UNIC Bujumbura office. The programme included a briefing to students on the transatlantic slave trade, a screening of the Secretary-General’s video message prepared for the day, a screening of the film Heart of Lion and a visit to the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud”. The event concluded with a lively discussion where students discussed the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade and the dangers of racism that persist today.

Photo: A student poses a question at the commemorative briefing to mark the International Day in Bujumbura (Photo: UNIC Bujumbura)
 

 

 

 

Dakar, Senegal

Students from the Lycée d’Excellence Birago Diop in Dakar

UNIC Dakar, in cooperation the Higher Institute of Management (ISM) and the Lycée d’Excellence Birago Diop, organized a commemorative event on 30 April 2019 at the ISM. More than 250 students of different nationalities participated in a discussion led by a professor of history on the transatlantic slave trade and the significance of the Ark of Return. UNIC Dakar produced a video of the commemorative event. This activity was part of a more comprehensive programme scheduled to take place in June 2019.

Photo: Students from the Lycée d’Excellence Birago Diop in Dakar (Photo: UNIC Dakar)
 

 

 

 

 

Harare, Zimbabwe

Participants at the commemorative event held in Harare to mark the International Day

UNIC Harare commemorated the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 25 March. The commemoration was held with more than 100 students and lecturers at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe. The guest speaker was Daniel Sam, Head of Migration and Development at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). During his presentation, Sam highlighted the interlinkages between modern forms of slavery and migration. Meanwhile, Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC Harare provided background on the International Day. The UNIC also mounted the exhibition “Remember Slavery: Say it Loud” outside the meeting area. The exhibition was donated to the university.

Photo: Participants at the commemorative event held in Harare to mark the International Day (Photo: UNIC Harare)
 

 

 

Lagos, Nigeria

More than 1,000 students participated in commemorative events at Badagry Grammar School in Lagos.UNIC Lagos collaborated with the Lagos State Education District V to hold a commemorative event to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at Badagry Grammar School, on 25 March 2019. More than 1,000 students participated in activities related to drama, poetry and song, which recounted the ills of slavery. Participants also had the opportunity to view the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud”. The event featured a visit to the Mobee Royal Palace, the Mobee Royal Family Slave Relics Museum and the Badagry Heritage Museum, located along the Badagry Slave Route.

Photo: More than 1,000 students participated in commemorative events at Badagry Grammar School in Lagos. (Photo: UNIC Lagos)

 

 

 

 

Lomé, Togo

More than 1,000 students participated in commemorative events at Badagry Grammar School in Lagos.

To mark the International Day, UNIC Lomé organized several commemorative activities. On 19 March, the UNIC organized a visit with 200 students to the Wood House, which was built in 1835 and owned by Scottish slave trader John Henry Wood. Enslaved Africans were held in the cellar and taken to the Puit des enchaînés (Well of the Chained) for their last bath before being sent to the Americas. The UNIC also organized commemorative events on 25 March, which included a screening and discussion of the film Slavery Routes: 1620-1789: From sugar to rebellion and an exhibit of the Ark of Return.

Photo: UNIC Lomé organizes a visit to the Wood House, once owned by a Scottish slave trader (Photo: UNIC Lomé)

 

 

 

Lusaka, Zambia

Students participate in a film screening at Lusaka Girls High School

UNIC Lusaka marked the International Day by organizing two educational outreach activities at two schools in Lusaka province, involving more than 950 students. The activities included a screening and discussion of the film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion. The discussion focused on the causes of the transatlantic slave trade, its legacy in Africa and the importance of educating children about human rights abuses. The activities were organized in partnership with the Ministry of General Education. In addition, the UNIC displayed a poster exhibition on the transatlantic slave. UNIC Lusaka also engaged in a social media campaign to promote the International Day on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through bulk SMS, reaching 40,000 mobile phone users.

Photo: Students participate in a film screening at Lusaka Girls High School (Photo: UNIC Lusaka)

 

Nairobi, Kenya

Student participants participate in a film screening at UNIC NairobiThe UNIC in Nairobi marked the International Day through several events including a commemorative ceremony, a display of the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” and a screening and discussion of the film Slavery routes: 1620 – 1789: From sugar to rebellion. More than 500 students from 12 universities attended the commemorative ceremony, which included remarks by Paul Zeleza, Vice Chancellor of the United States International University-Africa (USIU), and Godfrey Nienga, a lecturer from Riara University. UNIC Deputy Director Newton Kanhema delivered the Secretary-General’s message and moderated the discussion. Later, on 10 May, the UNIC facilitated the participation of Kenyan students in the eleventh annual United Nations Remember Slavery Global Student Videoconference.

Photo: Student participants participate in a film screening at UNIC Nairobi (Photo: UNIC Nairobi)

 

 

 

Yaoundé, Cameroon

Students participate in a commemorative event held in Yaoundé

The International Day was commemorated by UNIC Yaoundé on 26 March with an educational event held at the Holy Cross International College in Yaoundé. Representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa participated in the discussion. The main objective of the event was to encourage students to fight against discrimination by raising awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today. Highlights of the event included a panel discussion, a display of the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud”, a screening and discussion of the film Slavery Routes 1620 – 1789: From sugar to rebellion, and a sketch performed by Members of the UNESCO Federation Club..

Photo: Students participate in a commemorative event held in Yaoundé (Photo: UNIC Yaoundé)

 

 

 

THE AMERICAS

 

Bogotá, Colombia

Panelists at the commemorative event organized by UNIC Bogota

UNIC Bogotá organized an event focusing on creative solutions to climate change within the Afro-descendent community of Tumaco, which has been disproportionately affected by armed conflict and illegal economies. Speakers included UNIC Director Helene Papper and representatives of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Colombian Secretary of the Environment. The UNIC screened the documentary film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion, which was followed by a panel discussion and a screening of the film Chocolate Caliente. With the support of WFP, the Tumaco community has developed the art of chocolate-making based on ancestral knowledge.

Photo: Panelists at the commemorative event organized by UNIC Bogota (Photo: UNIC Bogota)

 

 

 

 

Panama City, Panama

Launch of UNESCO publication

The UNIC in Panama organized commemorative events throughout May in connection with Panama’s Black Ethnicity Month. It displayed the exhibit “A Legacy of Black Achievement” at the University of Panama’s Faculty of the Humanities. The exhibit was also shown at the university’s library. The UNIC complemented the exhibit with a display of photos of Afro-Panamanians who promoted positive changes in education, journalism, human rights and other fields. The UNIC also collaborated with UNESCO to launch UNESCO’s publication entitled Legacies of Slavery: A Resource Book for Managers of Sites and Itineraries of Memory.

Photo: Launch of UNESCO publication Legacies of Slavery: A Resource Book for Managers of Sites and Itineraries of Memory in Panama (Photo: UNIC Panama)

 

 

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Participants at the film screening of Slavery routes

On 7 May 2019, UNIC Rio de Janeiro organized a screening and discussion of the documentary film Slavery Routes: 1620-1789: From sugar to rebellion. The event was opened by UNIC Director Maurizio Giuliano, who spoke about the history of the transatlantic slave trade and forms of modern slavery. The screening was followed by a debate moderated by Raquel Quintiliano, Associate Professor for Public Policy and Human Rights at the Universidade Federal de Roraima (UFR). Presentations were made by Fernanda Barros, a doctoral student in Political Science at the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), and Filó Filho, a cultural producer and organizer of Black Movement Rio, CULTNE and the festival Flisamba. The presentations focused on the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade in Brazil. Some 120 people participated in the event, which was held at the premises of the Itamaraty Palace. The UNIC also organized an exhibit featuring diplomatic correspondence from the Itamaraty Palace dating back to the transatlantic slave trade.

Photo: Participants at the film screening of Slavery routes: 1620 – 1789; From Sugar to Rebellion, held in Brazil (Photo: UNIC Rio de Janeiro)

 

 

 

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

 

 

 

Islamabad, Pakistan

Speakers at the screening and discussion of the film Slavery Routes

To mark the International Day, UNIC Islamabad organized a screening and discussion of the film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion. The screening was organized in cooperation with the Inter University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Pakistan, and COMSATS University Islamabad. In his opening remarks, Resident Coordinator and WFP Country Director Finbarr Curran shared his reflections on the transatlantic slave trade and underscored the importance of commemorating the International Day. Students discussed the causes of slavery, as well as modern slavery. Other speakers included Shahida Gilani and Asif Jah from the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Adnan Fida, the Faculty Head at COMSATS University.

Photo: Speakers at the screening and discussion of the film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion in Pakistan (Photo: UNIC Islamabad)

 

 

 

New Delhi, India

Display of the exhibit in New Delhi

The UNIC for India and Bhutan marked the International Day by organizing activities in collaboration with the India International Centre, an influential think tank in New Delhi. The UNIC displayed the poster exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” from 25 to 31 March. The exhibit received more than 800 visitors. The UNIC also screened the film Slavery Routes: 1620 - 1789: From sugar to rebellion and created seven social media cards to generate momentum. The cards generated around 2000 impressions each.

Photo: Display of the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” in New Delhi (Photo: UNIC New Delhi)

 

 

EUROPE

 

 

 

Geneva, Switzerland

The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva organized several events to mark the International Day. The exhibition “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” was displayed at the Palais des Nations, from 25 March to 18 April 2019. UNIS Geneva also organized a screening of the film Slavery Routes: 1620 -1789: From sugar to rebellion.

 

Minsk, Belarus

Display of the exhibit in Belarus

On 25 March, the UNO in Minsk organized several events in cooperation with the Belarusian State University’s International Relations Faculty. Those included a screening of the film Slavery Routes: 1620 - 1789: From Sugar to Rebellion, which was translated into Russian by the UNO, and a display of the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud”. Both events were held at the university. In his introductory remarks to participants, United Nations National Information Officer Victor Radivinovski spoke about the history of the transatlantic slave trade and modern slavery. A representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) spoke about the agency’s efforts in combatting human trafficking.

Photo: Display of the exhibit “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” in Belarus (Photo: UNO Minsk)

 

 

 

Yerevan, Armenia

70 students for a discussion and screening of the filmUNO Yerevan receives a group of 70 students for a discussion and screening of the film Slavery Routes 1620 – 1789: From sugar to Rebellion (Photo: UNO Yerevan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2018

 

A student asks a question at an event organized by UNIC Nairobi. Photo credit: UNIC Nairobi

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 


2017

 

A student asks a question at an event organized by UNIC Bujumbura. Photo credit: UNIC Bujumbura

 

The global network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) held special events throughout the world in 2017 to highlight the messages of the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme and mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March). The 2017 theme was "Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent".

Events organized by the UNICs ranged from film screenings and educational field trips to informational exhibits, cultural performances and panel discussions. The United Nations Remember Slavery Programme provided educational materials, including a poster exhibit in all of the United Nations’ six official languages, entitled “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”. The exhibit’s 13 posters highlighted the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme, the work of the International Decade for People of African Descent, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Slave Route Project, contributions of the African diaspora and the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. Additional support materials included calendars in all of the United Nations’ six official languages featuring The Ark of Return, the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations.

Nearly 70 activities were organized in 20 countries.

 

 

 

AFRICA

 

 

 

Accra, Ghana

“Remember Slavery” event in Ghana (UNIC Accra)

Photo: “Remember Slavery” event in Ghana (UNIC Accra)

UNIC Accra organised several activities that reached more than 1,000 students from three schools in Assin Manso, a town in Ghana’s Central Region.  On 30 March, the UNIC screened the documentary “They Are We”, about a Cuban family searching for its origins in Africa, which was produced by Emma Christopher and Sergio Leyva Seiglie.  Following the film, a discussion was held with the students. A poster exhibit titled “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” was displayed at the Assin Manso Senior High School, and the UNIC briefed students about it during a two day period. The exhibit remained on display for several weeks upon the school’s request. On 31 March, students toured the Slave River site where they were briefed by the site manager. It is believed that enslaved Africans from northern Ghana and other West African countries were held at Slave River to receive their last bath, be auctioned and get branded before being taken to the slave castle in Cape Coast and transported out of the country.  Based on the students’ feedback, the Slave River tour was particularly enlightening as even the students from the region acknowledged that that they had not known about the role of the river in the transatlantic slave trade.

 

Brazzaville, Congo

Participants in Brazzaville hold calendars featuring The Ark of Return (UNIC Brazzaville)

Photo: Participants in Brazzaville hold calendars featuring The Ark of Return (UNIC Brazzaville)

More than 50 university students attended a screening organised by UNIC Brazzaville of the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess,” which was written, produced and directed by Roy Anderson.  Following the screening, there was a presentation by a university professor on the transatlantic slave trade and the contributions of enslaved Africans to their new societies.  Students were then led in a discussion about the presentation.  Wall calendars featuring The Ark of Return, the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations, were distributed to all participants.

 

 

 

Dakar, Senegal

 “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Senegal (UNIC Dakar)

Photo: “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Senegal (UNIC Dakar)

In partnership with the Gorée Memorial, UNIC Dakar displayed the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” at the Chambre de Commerce, d’Industire et d’Agriculture de Dakar (CCIAD).  The exhibit opening featured remarks by the Secretary General of the Gorée Memorial, the Director of Cultural Heritage Department and UNIC Dakar’s Officer in Charge. There was also a cultural performance by dancer and choreographer Baïdy Bâ. Following the exhibit opening, there was a public panel discussion on the contributions of people of African descent to contemporary music in Africa.  The panel consisted of: Mr. Amadou Lamine Sall. Secretary General of the Gorée Mémorial; Mr. Abdou Aziz Mbaye, Minister and Special Advisor to the President and Chairman of the Board of the Gorée Mémorial; Mr. Ndiouga Benga, Professor at Dakar University; and Mr. Abdoul Aziz Guisse, Director of the Cultural Heritage Department.  

 

 

 

 

Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania

Students on educational field trip in Tanzania (UNIC Dar es Salaam)

Photo: Students on educational field trip in Tanzania (UNIC Dar es Salaam)

UNIC Dar es Salaam organized a two day educational field trip to the slave ruins in Kilwa District.  Participants included 50 students and two teachers from several schools in Dar es Salaam and Kilwa, as well as representatives from two media outlets. On the first day, students visited the old German Fort in Kilwa Kivinje, which was once used to hold slaves. Students also visited slave trading sites, where they asked questions about the slave trade to the tour guide and local residents. The UNIC also conducted interviews with the residents in Kiswahili for United Nations Radio. The following day, students, teachers and the media were welcomed by the Kilwa District Commissioner, Mr. Christopher Ndubiagai, who briefed them on the history of Kilwa.  He encouraged the students to study their history, engage in nation building, respect the human rights of others and maintain peace. The UNIC also displayed the exhibit, “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” which was officially declared open by the Commissioner.  The exhibit attracted many students and residents of Kilwa.  The UNIC delivered a presentation on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and the United Nations Secretary-General’s statement to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was read aloud in Kiswahili to increase students’ understanding. The students and teachers also visited Kilwa’s largest fort, which is located on Kilwa Kisiwani, a small island about 20 minutes from the shoreline.  This was a rich learning experience for the students as they visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the houses of the Sultans who ran the slave trade business and the large trading market in Husuni Kubwa.  Students were informed that Kilwa Kisiwani was the most famous trading port in East Africa, with traded goods having included ivory, gold, cloth, beads, iron, animal hides, and enslaved Africans, including pregnant women.

 

Harare, Zimbabwe

On 27 March more than 40 university students and representatives from the Embassies of Angola, Kenya and the United Kingdom attended a commemorative event organised by UNIC Harare at the city’s Meikles Hotel.  The event began with a display of the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”.  Copies of the United Nations Secretary-General’s statement to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as well as wall calendars featuring The Ark of Return, the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations, were distributed to all guests upon arrival. During the formal ceremony which followed the exhibition, UNIC Harare provided context and background for the commemoration.  There was also a presentation by Hon. David Hamadziripi, Director of Multilateral Affairs at Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The audience later watched the documentary film “They Are We”, which was followed by a stimulating discussion led by the Hon. David Hamadziripi.   The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation provided coverage of the entire event and aired it several times on their television station. Following the commemorative event, UNIC Harare was invited to host another screening of the film and display the exhibit at the Catholic University to help educate and raise awareness among other students. 

 

Lagos, Nigeria

“Remember Slavery” rally in Nigeria (UNIC Lagos)

Photo: “Remember Slavery” rally in Nigeria (UNIC Lagos)

In partnership with the government of Cross River State in southeastern Nigeria, UNIC Lagos organised an educational briefing for students at the West African Peoples Institute (WAPI) in the city of Calabar.  The event was attended by more than 200 students from ten high schools. In a presentation to the students, UNIC Lagos explained the significance of the 2017 theme, “Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”.
The Governor of Calabar was represented by the Commissioner of the Ministry of International Development Cooperation, Hon. Francis Ettah.  In his remarks, Commissioner Ettah acknowledged that Calabar was an ideal venue to host a “Remember Slavery” event in Nigeria as it was a slave port during the transatlantic slave trade.  He also noted that the Calabar Slave Museum had been established in 2007, the same year as the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme. Prior to the briefing, there was a public awareness rally led by UNIC Lagos, Commissioner Ettah and Dr. Gabriel Akpeke, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International Development Cooperation. The rally promoted “Remember Slavery” messaging. Starting at the Government Secretariat, it ended at the WAPI building. The event also included a screening of the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”, a performance by the WAPI school choir, a display of the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” and a visit to the Slave History Museum at Marina Resort in Calabar.

 

Lomé, Togo

Student briefing in Togo (UNIC Lomé)

Photo: Student briefing in Togo (UNIC Lomé)

UNIC Lomé organized several events to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  On 30 March, more than 175 students participated in a conference at the University of Lomé. UNIC Lomé explained the history and significance of the commemoration, and presentations about slavery were delivered by the Head of the University’s Department of History and Archeology, as well as a Professor of Contemporary History. After the presentations, students watched and discussed the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”. On 31 March, there was a briefing for 319 participants, including students and professors from the Lycée Agoè Center, Lycée Ghégnédzi and Notre Dame des Apôtres in Lomé.  Presenters included a Professor of History at the Collegè Notre Dame de Lomé.  Following the presentations, students viewed and discussed the film, “They Are We”. UNIC Lomé also arranged for 120 students to visit two slavery memorials in Agbodrafo, Togo – the House of Slaves (“Wood Home”) and the Well of the Enchained Persons (“Gatovudo”). It is believed that the Well of the Enchained Persons was the last place in Africa that enslaved Africans could be bathed and “purified” before being sent to the Americas. The commemoration activities also included a radio broadcast, and calendars and brochures featuring The Ark of Return, the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations, were distributed at all activities and shared with other United Nations offices in Lomé.

 

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Students at educational event in Burkina Faso (UNIC Ouagadougou)

Photo: Students at educational event in Burkina Faso (UNIC Ouagadougou)

More than 4,300 visitors viewed the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” that was displayed at UNIC Ouagadougou from 24 to 27 March.  Visitors included Government officials, diplomats, students, researchers, members of civil society and the media. In partnership with the History Department of the University of Ouagadougou, the UNIC also hosted briefings in ten high schools across Ouagadougou. The presentations focused on the 2017 theme, “Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”.   Approximately 2,000 students and teachers participated in these sessions.  United Nations information materials on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade ware provided to each participating school. For more information in French about UNIC Ouagadougou’s event, please click here.

 

 

 

Pretoria, South Africa

South African students hold red hands to symbolize the end of slavery (UNIC Pretoria) Photo: South African students hold red hands to symbolize the end of slavery (UNIC Pretoria)

More than 160 students from Lynnwood Ridge Primary School in Pretoria joined the UNIC for its commemoration. Highlighting the 2017 theme, “Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”, the UNIC representative made a presentation on slavery, its relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals and the need to address issues such as inequalities, racism and xenophobia, which are still evident in South Africa today. The event also included the screening of the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”, which helped to teach students about slavery and the need to restore dignity to all victims of slavery.

Students later participated in a poetry exercise, in which they chanted “Slavery is cruel. We must have respect for each other, each other’s humanity and each other’s culture; therefore we can no longer ignore slavery.  We are equal. Let us stop slavery.  Let is abolish slavery all over the world”. As the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade coincided with South Africa Library Week, it was an opportune time for the UNIC Library to display the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”.  Based on the feedback, the exhibit had a memorable and positive impact on clients and visitors – especially the young people who gained more insights about slavery and the contributions of people of African descent to the development of societies around the world. Lynnwood Ridge Primary School was also presented with an additional set of posters to help them teach about slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. 

 

Yaoundé, Cameroon

“Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Cameroon (UNIC Yaoundé)

Photo: “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Cameroon (UNIC Yaoundé)

On 24 March, UNIC Yaoundé held an educational talk for more than 175 students from La Gaieté International School Complex on the theme “Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”. The UNIC briefed on the ways in which enslaved Africans helped to shape and develop the societies in which they found themselves. Stressing how the inhumane treatment of enslaved Africans was a violation of human rights, he encouraged students to denounce any acts of racism, discrimination or violence. Students later watched “Slave Routes: A Global Vision”, a documentary produced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They were then quizzed about what they learned and won prizes, including t-shirts and pens, if they supplied the correct responses.  They also viewed and were quizzed about the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”.  All participants received an information kit, which included a copy of the Secretary-General’s message; background on the 2017 theme, the transatlantic slave trade and slavery; a brochure on The Ark of Return; and United Nations Remember Slavery Programme notebooks. Following the films, students were led on a guided tour of the exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”. The exhibit was displayed in both English and French. 

 

 

 

AMERICAS

 

 

 

Bogotá, Colombia

Afro-Colombian cultural performance in Colombia (UNIC Bogotá)

Photo: Afro-Colombian cultural performance in Colombia (UNIC Bogotá)

On 23 March, UNIC Bogotá organised three activities in partnership with the Claretiana University Foundation. The day’s events were all hosted at the Claretiana University in Quibdó, the capital of Colombia’s state of Chocó, which is an important centre of Afro-Colombian history and culture. More than 100 students and teachers attended. The events included a group discussion about the legacy and contributions of people of African descent in Colombia. It was moderated by UNIC Director Helene Papper, and panelists included Claretiana University Vice Chancellor Haminton Reteria and Afro-Colombian historian Sergio Mosquera.  There was also a screening of the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”.  Students later had a chance to visit and ask questions about the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” that was displayed throughout the event.  The exhibit was later transferred to the Centre for Memory, Peace, and Reconciliation in Bogotá. A Spanish language video about UNIC Bogotá’s commemoration can be found here.

 

 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Screening of “Queen Nanny” in Trinidad (UNIC Port of Spain)

Photo: Screening of “Queen Nanny” in Trinidad (UNIC Port of Spain)

UNIC Port of Spain collaborated with the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to host a screening of the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”. It also displayed the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”. The event was attended by around 70 students and teachers from St. Joseph’s Convent School and Queens Royal College Secondary School. Students were also briefed on the background and significance of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its 2017 theme. United Nations Remember Slavery Programme notebooks, wall calendars featuring The Ark of Return and brochures on the International Decade for People of African Descent were distributed. 

 

 

 

 

 

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

 

 

 

Canberra, Australia

Educational event in Australia (UNIC Canberra)

Photo: Educational event in Australia (UNIC Canberra)

More than 100 people attended a seminar organised by UNIC Canberra, Anti-Slavery Australia and the University of Technology in Sydney. The keynote speaker was Aminata Conteh-Biger, a former sex slave in Sierra Leone who founded a maternal health foundation and showed how the African diaspora had made significant contributions to societies around the world.  The event included the opening of the exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”, which was displayed at the university library.  The UNIC Director provided the audience with background about the exhibit and read aloud the United Nations Secretary-General’s message for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

 

 

 

 

New Delhi, India

Indian students learn about contributions of the African diaspora (UNIC New Delhi)

Photo: Indian students learn about contributions of the African diaspora (UNIC New Delhi)

UNIC New Delhi displayed the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” at Jawaharlal Nehru University from 25 to 30 March.  It was also displayed at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi from 1 to 7 April.  The exhibit provided an opportunity for students to learn more about the work of the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme and the International Decade for People of African Descent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EUROPE

 

 

 

Brussels, Belgium

Dutch-language version of “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Belgium (UNRIC Brussels)

Photo: Dutch-language version of “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Belgium (UNRIC Brussels)

The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) translated the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” into Dutch and distributed both the Dutch and French posters to two Dutch-speaking and three French-speaking schools in Belgium.  The schools displayed the exhibit and focused their related lessons on the 2017 theme. The posters will continue to be used throughout the year.  The exhibit was also displayed at the University of Ghent from 27 March to 7 April.

 

 

 

 

Geneva, Switzerland

 

The United Nations Office at Geneva displayed the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” in English and French in the Palais des Nations.  There was also a digital display of the English version in the Hall des Pas Perdus.  A copy of the United Nations Secretary-General’s message for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was distributed to all accredited media at the Palais des Nations.

 

Yerevan, Armenia

 

Armenian students view “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Russian and English (UNIC Yerevan)

Photo: Armenian students view “Remember Slavery” poster exhibit in Russian and English (UNIC Yerevan)

The United Nations Office in Yerevan hosted students from the towns of Noramarg and Sayat-Nova in the Ararat Province. They were briefed on the history, causes, consequences and legacy of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Students also watched and discussed “Slave Route: The Soul of Resistance” a documentary by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The discussion focused on issues of racism, discrimination, tolerance, xenophobia, human rights and other United Nations values, and how those themes were relevant to contemporary Armenian society. Students were later divided into two groups to prepare for a debate about the issues discussed. After the debate exercise, the students were encouraged to view the poster exhibit “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development” and received educational materials about the 2017 theme. 

 

 

 


2016

 

 

 

Students Visit UNIC Yaounde for an educational event. Photo credit: UNIC Yaounde

 

The United Nations and its global network of information centres held special events throughout the world to mark the 2016 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March) under the theme “Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots”.

The theme draws attention to the rich African culture and traditions that have impacted life in countries that were involved in the slave trade and where the African Diaspora continues to make major contribution in all aspects of life. It also highlights the cultural linkages that exist among people of African descent throughout the world. Events at United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) and a United Nations peacekeeping operation to honour the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade ranged from film screenings and cultural performances to historical exhibits and panel discussions. The United Nations Remember Slavery Programme provided field offices with educational materials.

More than 70 activities were organized in 24 countries to celebrate the heritage and culture of the African Diaspora.

 

 

AFRICA

 

 

UNIC Accra, Ghana

Performance in Accra by students from Tema Community

Photo: Performance in Accra by students from Tema Community 7 Basic School (Photo: UNIC Accra)

On 12 April, some 300 students from the University of Ghana and the Tema Community ‘7’ Basic School participated in a student forum organized by UNIC Accra, in collaboration with the Central University and Abibimman Foundation, to mark this year’s International Day. 

The interactive session included a lecture from archaeology professor James Kwesi Anquandah followed by questions and answers; a reading of the message from the Secretary-General; and a play about slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  

A minute of silence was observed with each participant holding a lit candle in remembrance of the victims.  A representative of the UNESCO office in Ghana participated. A 5-day exhibit on “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” was opened with drumming and dancing by the Tema Community ‘7’ Basic School.

There was also a screening of the documentary film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”, which was attended by students from the University of Ghana.

 

 

UNIC Antananarivo, Madagascar

Students in Antananarivo perform a play depicting the lives of Africans in India

Photo: Students in Antananarivo perform a play depicting the lives of Africans in India (Photo: UNIC Antananarivo)

On 23 March, UNIC Antananarivo organized a one-day conference focusing on Africans in India, which included the screening of a documentary on people of African descent, a presentation on Africans in India by a history professor and a question and answer session.

There were also performances by students, which included a presentation on why Africans in India were different from slaves in other countries. 

The Secretary-General’s message for the International Day was read aloud by a UNIC staff member, who also shared impressions of her recent visit to Senegal’s Gorée Island, the site of a museum and memorial to victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” exhibit was displayed both at the UNIC and Estiim University. UNIC Antananarivo also organized a screening of the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” on 13 April.

 

 

UNIC Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

UNIC Brazzaville holds outreach event on the African diaspora

Photo: UNIC Brazzaville holds outreach event on the African diaspora (Photo: UNIC Brazzaville)

UNIC Brazzaville held a conference on 22 July on the political and cultural contributions of the African diaspora throughout the world. The screening of the film “They Are We” preceded an academic presentation by a history teacher at Marien Ngouabi University.

Eighty participants, including students and members of the media and civil society, attended the outreach activity, which featured a lively discussion and was organized in connection with the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

 

 

 

UNIC Bujumbura, Burundi

Students at an educational film screening organized by UNIC Bujumbura

Photo: Students at an educational film screening organized by UNIC Bujumbura (Photo: UNIC Bujumbura)

On 25 March, UNIC Bujumbura organized and hosted a student briefing to commemorate the International Day.

The event featured a lecture based on the Secretary-General’s commemorative message. Students saw and discussed the film “Coeur de Lion”.

The UNIC also hosted a screening of the film “Queen Nanny; Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” and displayed the exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” on subsequent dates.

 

 

 

 

UNIC Dakar, Senegal

UNIC Dakar participated in a special programme on slavery on the popular Senegalese television talk show “Impressions”. During the programme, UNIC Director Damian Cardona-Onses explained the work of the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme and shared information about The Ark of Return, The Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations.

 

 

UNIC Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Information Officer briefing students

Photo: Briefing students in Tanzania (Photo: UNIC Dar es Salaam)

UNIC Dar es Salaam observed the International Day on 30 March at the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy in Dar es Salaam’s Kigamboni area. More than 500 students participated in the event, which featured a screening of “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”. The students heard a presentation and then engaged in discussions on the film’s themes and how they related to Tanzania. The exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers ” was translated into Kiswahili and displayed. After touring the exhibit, many students said they could relate to the exhibition and connected the historical information contained in it with the presence of Indians in Tanzania -- especially in the coastal towns in the country's east. The Secretary-General’s statement for the Day was read out by the UNIC’s information officer, flyers were distributed, and media interviews were conducted via print, radio and television. A social media campaign in Kiswahili and English was also encouraged using the following hashtags: #kumbukautumwa and #RememberSlavery. The UNIC also shared a poster advertising The Ark of Return, The Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, with the National Library in Dar es Salaam.

 

 

UNIC Harare, Zimbabwe

Student asks question during a briefing in Harare on the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Photo: Student asks question during a briefing in Harare on the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Photo: UNIC Harare)

On 11 April, UNIC Harare commemorated the International Day by displaying the exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” and screening “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”.  Participants included students from four universities, members of the diplomatic corps and lecturers. During the exhibit opening ceremony, representatives from UNIC Harare provided the audience with background of the International Day.

 The keynote address was delivered by Gideon Gapare, Deputy Director of Multilateral and Political Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe, on behalf of David Hamadziripi, Director for Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The documentary film was followed by a discussion moderated by UNIC Harare and involving students and their lecturers.

Copies of the Secretary-General’s commemorative message were distributed in English, Ndebele and Shona. The event was covered by the local media, including the radio stations Star FM and Zi-FM.

 

 

UNIC Lagos, Nigeria

UN official shows students the exhibit “Africans in India:

Photo: UN official shows students the exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” in Lagos (Photo: UNIC Lagos)

Activities marking the International Day were held at Southfield Academy in the Bariga area of Lagos, included a screening of the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”; the display of the exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers”; a briefing and quiz on The Ark of Return, The Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations; and a WebEx online meeting with students in Accra and Nairobi.

 

 

 

 

UNIC Lomé, Togo

Students during an educational briefing organized by UNIC Lomé

Photo: Students during a briefing organized by UNIC Lomé (Photo: UNIC Lomé)

UNIC Lomé partnered with the Federation of UNESCO Clubs to organize and host the screening of the film “Queen Nanny:  Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” on 6 April as part of this year’s commemorative activities.  Prior to the screening, a history professor delivered a presentation about the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Both events were attended by more than 300 secondary school students who are members of UNESCO Clubs in Lomé.  Students also visited an exhibit of slavery-related photos and historical documents entitled “Mediathèque Jean-Paul II”.

On 29 April, 160 students from 18 secondary schools visited the Wood Home, also known as the Maison des esclaves (Slave House) in the city of Agbodrafo, which is 35 kilometres outside Lomé. During the two-hour visit, students were briefed on the history of the site and how slaves were treated.

 

 

 

UNIC Lusaka, Zambia

Students at an event organized by UNIC Lusaka

Students at an event organized by UNIC Lusaka (Photo: UNIC Lusaka)

On 25 March, UNIC Lusaka joined the UNICs in Accra, Lagos and Nairobi, to host a WebEx online meeting.  Participants included university students, college lecturers, media representatives and experts in the field of slavery and human rights.

UNIC Lusaka also organized an outreach activity in the central Zambian town of Kabwe in partnership with Youth Destiny, a local non-governmental organization (NGO).  Participants saw two films – “The Batwa People” and “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” – and then held a discussion and question and answer session. 

Students asked how the United Nations was helping to reduce and stop discrimination of Africans around the world and discussed the transfer of African culture and technology to the Americas during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Other activities included the sending of 2 bulk text messages to 15,000 people countrywide and the distribution of 5,000 pamphlets on slavery and the 2016 theme. There was media coverage by The Post Newspaper, Times of Zambia and a local radio station in Kabwe.

 

 

UNIC Nairobi, Kenya

UNIC Nairobi Deputy Director Newton Kanhema makes

Photo: UNIC Nairobi Deputy Director Newton Kanhema makes remarks during panel discussion (Photo: UNIC Nairobi)

On 29 March, UNIC Nairobi organized a panel discussion to observe the International Day. More than 300 students from 16 local universities engaged for more than two hours in discussions on the role of Africans in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on African societies today. 

Among the panellists was an African-American professor who had visited West Africa and discovered that her ancestors had come from Cameroon. The audience responded with a rousing “Welcome home!”

 

 

 

UNIC Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Visitors view “Africans in India: From Slaves to

Photo: Visitors view “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” in Burkina Faso (Photo: UNIC Ouagadougou)

In partnership with the University of Ouagadougou, UNIC Ouagadougou hosted lectures on slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 10 high schools on 25, 28 and 29 March.  Some 3,500 students and teachers participated in these lectures.

The UNIC displayed the exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” from 25 to 31 March.  Approximately 3,800 people visited the exhibit, including Government officials, students, diplomats, researchers, members of civil society and media representatives.

On 25 March, the UNIC screened “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”.  Before the screening, which took place in a packed auditorium, the Secretary-General’s message for the International Day was read aloud.

 

 

 

UNIC Pretoria, South Africa 

Students and teachers from Founders Community

Photo: Students and teachers from Founders Community School in South Africa (Photo: UNIC Pretoria)

UNIC Pretoria organized and hosted an event on March 17. More than 70 members of the public and schoolchildren, including from the Katlehong area east of Johannesburg, participated.  The event was marked by poems, music and key messages about how slavery impacted the African way of life.  A student from Founders Community School recited a poem about African heritage and the ills of slavery.

The documentary “The Middle Passage” by renowned Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, which is based on the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, was screened. Musical group “Mosaic” entertained guests with African-inspired tunes.

Acting UNIC Director Maureen Nkandu said, “This is a history we dare not forget, for it still has a bearing on how the African or the black person is perceived and treated today”. Zolani Mkiva of the African Delphic Council gave the keynote address.

 

 

UNIC Yaounde, Cameroon

Group photo with UNIC Yaounde staff and guests at

Photo: Group photo with UNIC Yaounde staff and guests at a Transatlantic Slave Trade observance event (Photo: UNIC Yaounde)

UNIC Yaounde organized an educational outreach event to commemorate the International Day at the Lycée de la Cité Verte (Government High School) in Yaounde on 7 April.  The event was designed to increase students’ awareness of the rich African culture and traditions that have impacted life in the countries that were involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” was screened and followed by a panel discussion. 

Panellists included representatives of the UNIC and UNESCO.  Copies of the Secretary-General’s commemorative message, background information on the 2016 theme and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and a brochure on The Ark of Return, The Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations, were distributed to participants and the media.

 

 

AMERICAS

 

 

UNIC Asunción, Paraguay

Workshop on Afro-Paraguayan culture and the legacy of slavery (Photo: UNIC Asunción)

Photo: Workshop on Afro-Paraguayan culture and the legacy of slavery (Photo: UNIC Asunción)

On 15 December, UNIC Asunción – in cooperation with the Cabildo Cultural Centre Network – held a workshop on African rhythms and cultural heritage that was attended by more than 40 participants, including educators, students and artists.

Speakers, including from the Paraguayan Network of Afro-Descendants and the Catholic University, lectured on the history of Black communities in Paraguay, and the UNIC explained the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade.

The Kambakua Ballet taught participants how to dance to African rhythms and play African drums. The UNIC distributed educational materials on the transatlantic slave trade and African cultural heritage, and the event was covered by the media.

 

 

 

UNIC Mexico City, Mexico

On 17 October, UNIC Mexico -- in cooperation with the Jamaican Embassy in Mexico and the Mexican Foreign Ministry -- screened the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess" at the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City.

The screening was part of a larger event that focused on Jamaican national heroes. UNIC Director Giancarlo Summa attended on behalf of the United Nations.

A second screening was held on 10 November at the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

 

 

 

 

 

MINUSTAH, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

UN Resident Coordinator in Panama Martín Santiago Herrero

Photo: Screening of 'Queen Nanny' in Haiti (Photo: MINUSTAH)

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) organized a screening of the documentary “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” for nearly 100 young detainees at Haiti’s Centre for the Rehabilitation of Minors in Conflict with the Law (CERMICOL) on 29 August 2016 in Port-au-Prince.

Following the screening, MINUSTAH’s Communication and Public Information Office facilitated discussions among the attendees, who were between the ages of 11 and 17. The conversation focused on the need for peoples around the world to be familiar with their roots and ancestors.

The young people expressed admiration for the key role played by Queen Nanny in the fight against slavery and against one of the world’s biggest armies at that time. According to one participant, “The actions of Queen Nanny can be summed up in one word: leadership… She used her leadership to drive her people to freedom”.

 

 

 

 

UNIC Panama City, Panama

UN Resident Coordinator in Panama Martín Santiago Herrero

Photo: UN Resident Coordinator in Panama Martín Santiago Herrero marks the International Day with performers (Photo: UNIC Panama)

On 8 April, UN Resident Coordinator in Panama Martín Santiago Herrero hosted an event for students from the University of Panama’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, Government officials, the diplomatic corps, the media and representatives of international and Afro-Panamanian organizations. The film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” was screened.

The Resident Coordinator read out the Secretary-General’s message for the International Day and presented an award to Professor Gerardo Maloney Francis for his work on Afro-Panamanian culture and his efforts to promote equality and social justice for Panamanians of African descent. The exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” was also displayed.

Performers from “La Reina Congo” used music and dance to tell stories about the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The UNIC also ensured that the Secretary-General’s message was published in the Panamanian press.

 

 

UNIC Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Poster exhibit at Scarborough Library, Tobago,

Photo: Poster exhibit at Scarborough Library, Tobago, 13-27 May 2016 (Tobago Library Services)

On 16 April, UNIC Port of Spain, together with the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, co-hosted a screening of “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” during an event targeted at young adults.  The UNIC also mounted the “Africans in India: From Slaves to General and Rulers” poster exhibit, hosted an information table and disseminated Remember Slavery promotional materials (posters, postcards, bookmarks and Ark of Return brochures) to attendees.

UNIC Port of Spain also coordinated the hosting of the “Africans in India” exhibit by the Scarborough Library in Tobago and production of Remember Slavery promotional material for dissemination to exhibit visitors and other library users there. The exhibit lasted from 2 to 27 May.  The UNIC also hosted 15 students who participated in the 8th Annual United Nations 'Remember Slavery' Global Student Videoconference, which brought together students from Dakar, New York and Port of Spain to discuss the theme "Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots" on 13 May.

UNIC Port of Spain arranged for the students’ participation in the international event in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO). ‘Remember Slavery’ printed material was also distributed to some 30 schools in Trinidad and Tobago through the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASP-Net).

 

 

UNIC Washington, DC, United States

On 10 June, UNIC Washington co-presented a screening of the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” with and at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, as part of the DC Caribbean Film Festival. UNIC Director Robb Skinner delivered welcoming remarks.

 

 

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

 

 

UNIC Canberra, Australia

UNIC Canberra Director Christopher Woodthorpe (centre) with representatives of the University of Technology Sydney at a screening of “Queen Nanny”

Photo: UNIC Canberra Director Christopher Woodthorpe (centre) with representatives of the University of Technology
Sydney at a screening of “Queen Nanny” (Photo: UNIC Canberra)

To mark the International Day, UNIC Canberra partnered with the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney to organize a screening of the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess”.

During her opening remarks, Jennifer Burn, Director of Anti-Slavery Australia, explained that, while the film related to a time and place quite distant to current day Australia, the film’s lessons were still relevant today. 

In his remarks, UNIC Canberra Director Christopher Woodthorpe pointed out that justice for women, and especially women of colour, and recognition for their accomplishments, is still not being served. He stated, that “such recognition and justice was central to the theme of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), which seeks to strengthen international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent.” 

Both remarks underscored the message of the Secretary-General, which was shared with participants.

 

 

UNIC New Delhi, India

At the request of the UN "Remember Slavery" Programme,

Photo: At the request of the UN "Remember Slavery" Programme, UNIC New Delhi organized the showing of a gem of an
exhibition entitled AFRICANS IN INDIA. (Photo: UNIC New Delhi)

There was great interest in New Delhi in the exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Rulers and Generals”.  To mark the International Day, UNIC New Delhi partnered with the South Asian University (SAU) and the Department of African Studies at Delhi University to host this exhibition for 10 days in the lobby at SAU, located in Delhi's diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri.

At the exhibit opening on 21 March, SAU President Kavita Sharma praised the intense research that had yielded such a stunning display of photographs and facts about the history of Africans in India. In addition to the students, there were over 30 scholars from the University in attendance. The exhibit also attracted great media attention with several positive articles about the exhibit being published throughout New Delhi.

The exhibition was also displayed at UN House in Lodi Estate as well as the India Africa Day Gala 2016 organized by the Association of Spouses of African Heads of Missions (ASAHOM) in India.

 

 

EUROPE

 

 

UN Office (UNO) Tbilisi, Georgia

Students from Batumi State University at a screening

Photo: Students from Batumi State University at a screening of “Queen Nanny” (Photo: UNO Tbilisi)

UNO Tbilisi organized a screening and discussion of the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” on 2 April for students from Batumi State University.  On 8 April, students from Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, Tbilisi Technical University, the Caucasian International School and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, attended a one-day conference on the theme: “Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots.” This event was held at Tbilisi State University to promote greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contributions of people of African descent to the development of societies.

The conference was facilitated by Flora Pachulia, founder of the NGO World Without War and member of the organization Cooperation for Peace and Progress.  The poster exhibit “Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers” was also opened in the lobby of Tbilisi State University.  The conference was followed by a screening of the film “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” at the Parliamentary Library of Georgia. These events were organized by the European Law Students’ Association-Georgia with support from the UNO Tbilisi. 

 

 

UN Office (UNO) Yerevan, Armenia

UNO Yerevan organized an educational outreach event at the UN House on 29 March dedicated to the International Day.  Around 50 high school students from the cities of Gyumri and Vagharshapat attended with their teachers. Students saw the UNESCO film “Slave Route: Soul of Resistance”. The film’s beginning was subtitled in Armenian, and a summary of the film’s remainder was distributed as a handout. A lively discussion followed the screening. UNO Yerevan also delivered a presentation about slavery, the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slave routes in the Indian Ocean.