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