Since 1998 Aug. 23 has been designated as the International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition. According to UNESCO, the occasion is intended to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples, offering “. . . an opportunity for collective consideration of the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of this tragedy, and for an analysis of the interactions to which it has given rise between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.”
As part of UNESCO’s intercultural flagship project, “The Slave Route,” the commemoration provides activities across the globe focusing on what French historian Jean-Michel Deveau described as one of "the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity in terms of scale and duration."
It is estimated that more than 12.5 million Africans were deported to the Americas and the Caribbean to be enslaved. The consequences of this tragic occurrence still impact our societies today.
The King Arts Complex Exhibits
The King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio provides an outstanding opportunity to commemorate the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade through a series of interactive installations that provide a hands-on learning experience, as participants touch and are touched by an important part of world history.
The exhibit features three panels of oil on canvas paintings that measure 93" x 48,” the project of Ron Anderson, Ohio oil painter and an art educator, who teaches at the Columbus College of Art & Design and for the Columbus Public Schools. His artwork is also on display in Ohio and in New York.
Anderson’s commissioned works include two portraits housed in the George Washington Williams Memorial room at the Ohio Statehouse. He has also completed six oil paintings for the Supreme Court of Ohio/ The Ohio Judicial Center that are currently on display in the Law Library Gallery.
Goree Island: The Door of No Return
Goree Island House of Slaves & the "Door of No Return" allow each person to experience what it was like to be held captive, to reach for freedom, be branded and taken to ports unknown and be sold into a life of slavery. Once captives passed through the opening to board ships, they knew it was a door of no return!
Cargo: The Middle Passage
“Cargo: The Middle Passage” depicts the transfer of slaves from Africa to the Americas. Visitors will be able to experience what the slaves may have experienced inside a slave ship Cargo in this exhibit that has a GCAC Artistic Excellence Award.
The King Arts Complex's interactive learning areas in the hallways may be visited anytime that the Complex is open. To schedule a guided tour and/or workshop, call 614/645-KING (5464).
The accompanying slide shows offers photos related to Goree Island, location of the House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) and the Door of No Return, portal through which countless slaves were deported to the West.