This section of the exhibition explores aspects of the legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in contemporary British society. It juxtaposes the voices of 18th century African abolitionists Olaudah Equiano and Mary Prince, extracted from their personal accounts, with the testimonies of two present day migrants from China and Russia, here named as Natasha and Liu to protect their real identities.
While addressing the differences between the African Slave Trade and contemporary forms of human trafficking, this section aims to bring the powerful legacy of black abolitionists into the 21st century. It also offers a historical background to narratives of slavery performed on the British stage over the last two hundred years and explored in other sections of this online exhibition.
Supported by historical essays and links to further resources, Equiano and Prince's views and experiences are brought to the fore through the dramatisation of extracts from their writings, performed by contemporary professional actors. These are set against the stories of Natasha and Liu, whose memories of their degrading treatment in the UK, recorded and filmed in London in April 2008, resonate uncannily with the voices from the past. These memories reflect the pernicious continuity of two key aspects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade: economic exploitation and the infringement of human rights.
To listen to these testimonies follow the links...