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Slavery exhibition wins top UK award

Staff at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales and other heritage organisations across Wales are celebrating after this year’s “Everywhere in Chains” project picked up a top UK award.

The Birmingham-based Black History Foundation selected the National Waterfront Museum’s exhibition on Wales and slavery, together with its wide range of associated events and community work, as the  “outstanding contribution to black heritage in Wales for 2007”. The award will be presented at the UK Black Heritage Fair this Saturday. The foundation selected the Everywhere in Chains project because it particularly attempted to make black heritage more accessible.


This exhibition commemorated the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 by looking at the roles played by Wales in both opposing and supporting transatlantic slavery during the three centuries before. It also helped highlight issues such as human rights and fair trade, and explained the legacies of slavery in modern day music and popular culture. The exhibition was supported by a wide range of events, talks and performances within the National Waterfront Museum at Swansea.


Three travelling versions of the exhibition are currently touring libraries and museums across Wales and in the new year will visit Llanrwst and Wrexham.


Earlier this year, the Learning Team at the National Waterfront Museum received over £43,000 of Heritage Lottery funding to help develop the Everywhere in Chains project further. As a result a series of art workshops, heritage talks and visits are taking place in partnership with grass roots community groups, organisations and museums across Swansea, Cardiff and Newport.


Everywhere in Chains was initiated by a partnership brokered by the Welsh Assembly Government and delivered by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, the National Library of Wales, and University of Wales, Bangor.


Welsh Assembly Government Heritage Minister, Rhodri Glyn Thomas said he was pleased that the project had been chosen for the award.

He said: “It is a real testament to the power of working in partnership and I am glad the Welsh Assembly Government was able to play a role both in developing the project and working in partners to produce the travelling version of the exhibition, which will take this extremely important subject to audiences across Wales.”


Also delighted was Steph Mastoris, Head of Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum who said: “It recognises the hard work undertaken by all the partners as well as the commitment of national heritage organisations in Wales to interpret difficult subjects in an accessible and dynamic way.”


Jennifer Stewart, HLF Manager for Wales added:

“The links between slavery and slave industry in Wales are not widely known.  The ‘Everywhere in Chains’ project is an important and effective way for people in Wales to recognize and learn about an often forgotten part of their heritage.  It’s also exciting to see how the legacy of the slave trade still resonates in the culture of today’s youth, making this project a fantastic vehicle for the heritage of Wales.   This award is a great accolade for the project, one which is well deserved.  We are delighted that the National Waterfront Museum’s ‘Everywhere in Chains’ project has been recognized at this level.”

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