Merseyside Maritime Museum welcomed some very special visitors yesterday - a group of artists who had travelled all the way from Haiti to deliver their latest sculpture. The Freedom! sculpture was made in workshops with young Haitians, led by sculptors from Atis Rezistans in collaboration with internationally renowned Haitian artist Mario Benjamin. Together they made the piece from recycled materials, to explore what freedom and slavery means to people in Haiti today.
Freedom! was commissioned by international development charity Christian Aid and National Museums Liverpool to mark 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. It is on show at the Maritime Museum until 18 March 2007 as the first stop in a UK tour.
After visiting London, Bristol and Cornwall, the sculpture will return to Liverpool to become a permanent exhibit in the new International Slavery Museum when it opens on Slavery Remembrance Day, 23 August 2007. Did you know that Slavery Remembrance Day commemorates the anniversary of the uprising of enslaved Africans in Haiti, which led to the creation of the first Black republic? Which makes this new Haitian sculpture an especially fitting way to mark the occasion.