I am doing a course in Cardiff University called ‘Imaging The Islands’. The course is about the Francophone Caribbean and the various ways in which it is represented. The course has its own tumblr page here – Led by our teacher, Charlotte Hammond , a group of students headed over to Bristol. It was sunny and hot and we started off our day by undertaking the Bristol Slave Trade trail. Bristol was an important slaving port of the British Empire and the remnants of this controversial trade can still be seen today in monuments throughout the city centre. We downloaded the Slave Trade Trail audio tour guide and plugged in our headphones and set out on a long walk across the town. Although we only managed to complete about half of the full trail, here are some photos of our adventures.

College Green

College Green

 

Park Street

Park Street

 

Georgian House

Georgian House – with our student group and teacher

 

Huguenot Chapel

Huguenot Chapel

 

Dominion's House

Dominion’s House

 

Colston Hall

Colston Hall

 

Colston Hall

Colston Hall

 

St Stephen's Church

St Stephen’s Church- there was a wealthy slave-trading congregation at this church

 

Slave On A Horse Statue

Slave On A Horse Statue at Hotel du Vin

 

 

Hotel du Vin

Hotel du Vin

 

St John On The Wall Church

St John On The Wall Church

 

Court House, Home of William Miller

Court House, Home of William Miller

 

Guild Hall

Guild Hall

 

Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange

 

Commercial Rooms - 3 Statues: 3 Graces: Bristol, Commerce and Navigation

Commercial Rooms – 3 Statues: 3 Graces: Bristol, Commerce and Navigation

 

Old Bank Founded by Slave Traders

Old Bank Founded by Slave Traders

That was as far as we got on the slave trade trail – we covered about half of it so will have to finish the rest on another occasion.
It was truly enlightening just to see how much of the city had been built up on the slave industry.

Now, It was on to the Harbour for a quick bit to eat…. Managed to find a plaque commemorating slavery…

Slavery Memorial Plaque in The Harbour and Dragon Translate's Wesley Gerrard / wezg

Slavery Memorial Plaque in The Harbour and Dragon Translate’s Wesley Gerrard / wezg

And then, just in time for the start of a guided tour we arrived at Spike Island….

Spike Island Art Gallery

Spike Island Art Gallery

We had come to visit the exhibition by Lubaina Himid. Lubaina was a member of the Black Arts Movement of the 1980s, her work tackles questions of race, gender and class. This exhibition draws together paintings and installations from the late 1990s to the present day to consider issues of labour, migration and creativity. We were interested in her representations of slavery and her artistic thinking as we consider artistic representations of the Francophone Caribbean.

I took two videos of the bigger exhibits and photos of the rest….

Lubaina Himid – Naming the Money

A post shared by Wesley Gerrard (@djwezg) on

 

Lubaina Himid- ‘Cotton.com’

A post shared by Wesley Gerrard (@djwezg) on

 

Never Harm a Clever Man

‘Never Harm a Clever Man’

 

'Nets for Night and Day' (Zanzibar)

‘Nets for Night and Day’ (Zanzibar)

 

'Zanzibar'

‘Zanzibar’

 

'Shutters Only Hide the Sun'

‘Shutters Only Hide the Sun’

 

'Take the Freedom Ride Home' (Kangas)

‘Take the Freedom Ride Home’ (Kangas)

 

'Speed Up the Pace of Change' (Kangas)

‘Speed Up the Pace of Change’ (Kangas)

 

'Leave the State of Unbelonging' (Kangas)

‘Leave the State of Unbelonging’ (Kangas)

 

'Don't Forget Me' (Kangas)

‘Don’t Forget Me’ (Kangas)

 

'Drowned Orchard: Secret Boatyard'

‘Drowned Orchard: Secret Boatyard’

 

'Women's Tears Fill the Ocean' (Zanzibar)

‘Women’s Tears Fill the Ocean’ (Zanzibar)

 

'Zanzibar'

‘Zanzibar’

 

'Zanzibar'

‘Zanzibar’

 

The art was very awe-inspiring and a good day out culminated in us all getting some good insight into the ways that post-abolition black voices can be heard through art.

All in all a fine time was had and we managed to stroll home, happy, in the blazing sun…