“Lest we forget…

Celebrating 23 August, the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

“By its decision to proclaim 23 August each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, UNESCO sought to pay tribute to the tireless struggle of the slaves for their freedom.”

Return to Gorée: Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition

© Kakemonos
Poster ” Journée internationale du souvenir de la traite négrière et de son abolition” Gorée

UNESCO-BREDA, in collaboration with the Senegalese National Commission for UNESCO and other institutional partners commemorates, on 23 August 2011, the International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition, within the framework of the International Year for People of African Descent.
The event taking place at the symbolic site of the Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye socio-cultural Centre in Goree, is to inscribe the slave trade and slavery in the memory of all peoples.

A conference-debate on the educational dimension of the slave trade, cultural interactions and human rights, will be held at the Centre, along with an exhibition of paintings and photographs on the Slave Trade, slavery and intercultural dialogue.

Also planned at the Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye socio-cultural Centre are:

– exhibition of UNESCO publications (and others) on the slave trade, with the BREDA Documentation Center;
– screening of the documentary produced by the UNESCO Slave Route project “Slave Routes: A Global Vision”;
– Cultural and artistic animation by groups such as “Hopes of the suburbs” and “Acoustic Law” Angelique Dione.

This commemoration will be chaired by the Minister of Education, Mr. Diallo Khalidou.



Type of Event Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Start 23.08.2011 10:00 local time
End 23.08.2011 15:00 local time
Responsible Dakar
UNESCO Responsible Ndombi, Christian
Country Senegal
City Gorée
Venue Centre socio-culturel Boubacar Joseph NDIAYE à Gorée
Contact Christian Ndombi/c.ndombi@unesco.org
Themes Dialogue and Reconciliation, Intercultural Dialogue, Cultural Tourism, Cultural Diversity
Language of Event French

August 23 is a day or moment that I take seriously. I find that as I turn my head outward and look to the world, I often see a recognition of the struggles and triumphs of African people and their descendents. This is the stuff that I want my children to experience. We have folks across the globe and I want them to visit and experience life outside of this particular form of “democracy” in the United States.  Although I appreciate being and American and my ancestors were here before Columbus or pilgrims, I understand that the African experience is a global phenomenon.  Just the other night as I was getting my daily dose of Nollywood greatness, I realized that even though I understand very little Yoruba (language), I can always understand the situation by the shared ways we communicate, express thoughts and feelings, physically move and react to particular situations. These are very real connections and as a scholar of the African Diaspora, these glimpses always make me smile.  To see things that are so familiar that they move beyond language (and as an anthropologist, I do realize that the importance of language!). I am not making an essentializing argument, however the reality is that as a self-proclaimed “strategic essentialist,” I understand the universailities of Blackness even in the realm of entertainment. At moments like these I appreciate my global family and want to celebrate and remember what it is that makes me who I am and what it is that will aid my children in becoming global citizens in the future. Here is to those Egun (ancestors) that came before. Who loved, toiled, sacrifices so that generations of Diasporas such as myself can live and reflect on a blog on the internet.

Egun, E se O!

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