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Remembering 1807

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The
Challenge

Capturing the events that marked 200 years since the abolition of slavery.

2007 marked the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. The UK held an explosion of events in commemoration. Prior to 2007, there had been little in terms of meaningful public discussion on slavery issues, making 2007 an important point of time antislavery history.

However, little or no attempt had been made to record this momentous year of activity. Posing the questions – what events are effective and where is public money best spent to deliver public awareness and impact around slavery issues?

As we approach further significant anniversaries and as a worldwide antislavery movement steadily gathers momentum, it is becoming increasingly important to understand what is, and is not, effective in highlighting contemporary slavery.

Remembering 1807 has unearthed over 300 projects connected with the bicentennial of the Slave Trade Abolition Act.

The
Approach

Lead researchers

Mary Wills

Project funded by

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Researchers uncovered over 300 events held across the country to commemorate 1807.

Initiatives ranged from large capital projects to small community-led events such as heritage trails, exhibitions, books and live performances. Many of these had left little or no trace, hence the urgency of the project.

Digitally capturing all 300 events, the team created the first comprehensive collection of the year’s antislavery tributes.

The archive is one part of our major overarching project Antislavery Usable Past, which uncovers lessons from the past to influence modern slavery campaigns and policy-making.

The Impact

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Other completed research projects