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Exhibition tells stories of post-slavery struggles

CRY FREEDOM: An image depicting an enslaved African being emancipated

AN EXHIBITION depicting the struggles endured by enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Caribbean to shake off the vestiges of slavery will open at the Royal Geographical Society in London tomorrow (November 6).

The special exhibition called Making Freedom will then tour British cities from January 2014, taking guests on a journey up to and beyond 1838, when nearly one million Africans were freed from enslavement in the Caribbean.

Project manager Arthur Torrington said: “This is the first time that important collections from Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the National Maritime Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Archives, Anti-Slavery International, and the Imperial War Museum have brought together an exhibition.”

Jamaica's high commissioner to Britain Aloun Ndombet Assamba and Dr Kimani Nehusi, a progressive African historian born in Guyana, will be among the many dignitaries who will officially declare the Making Freedom exhibition open.

The exhibition will celebrate those who resisted enslavement, those who fought to end it, and others who worked in Britain to improve social, economic and cultural conditions in the Caribbean.

EACH ONE TEACH ONE: Arthur Torrington in discussion with 11-year-old Camron Hughes in Tottenham

Visitors will learn about the unrest – such as Jamaica’s 1931 Christmas Rebellion - that hastened Emancipation, as well as the struggles for independence that ensued.

The exhibition features 83 images from the RGS’ collections and includes a number of audio-visual booths for visitors to delve deeper into individual stories.

The organisers say a number of London's diverse communities participated in the design of the exhibition by giving feedback on a version of Making Freedom at the Marcus Garvey Library in Tottenham.

Torrington said: “The exhibition breaks new ground in the way the story of Emancipation is told, and it shows how Africans were the agents of their liberation.”

He added: “We now have some account of our recent histological facts from our people."

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