Slave trade remembrance concerns all humanity

UN News


The history of the global slave trade concerns all humanity as has it impacts on modern societies according to the assistant director general for social and human sciences at the u._n. Cultural organisation unesco go now dr al-nashif was speaking to you and news ahead of the international day for the remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition celebrated needed annually on the twenty third of august twenty five years ago unesco launch the slave route project resistance liberty heritage a landmark initiative if that helped break the silence rounding the slave trade and slavery and a komo began by asking nada alma chief about the impact of the project given the origins of unesco our foundation obviously with the u._n. System on the ruins of the second world war <hes> creating peace in the minds of men and women was the ultimate <hes> core of the constitution and the fact of ignoring and obscuring major historical <hes> events with something that we wanted to redress and this was the hidden history of course that unesco wanted to have societies come to terms comes with and we believe that much of the issues actually remain today <hes> what's happened twenty five years ago. I think the most significant achievements were having decided to pursue this in a scientific way. <hes> we chose a a concept of route because of the dynamic movement that's his implicit <hes> and i would say that we have managed to foster to raise a much bigger awareness of the ethical but also of the political socio economic the cultural consequences of this entire exchange of people in civilizations <hes> we have prompted home to the development of research universities publications of books <hes> many pedagogical materials films and of course this <hes> many many debates and public engagements <hes> so and i think by giving the slave rate this universal dimension <hes> we have made sure everyone everyone understands. This is not a partial history the history that concerns the whole of humanity and we need to <hes> to discuss it. Maybe if i can just add a <hes> two things was a main accomplishment of the project was the fact that <hes> it's contributed to the recognition of the slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity entity which is a specific category of crimes by the world conference against racism racial discrimination xenophobia in durban south africa two thousand and one <hes> and then also it allowed to advocate for the international decade for the people of african descent which is ongoing <hes> now <hes> and <hes> to which which we have many many attributes among them. I don't know if you've seen it but <hes> we contributed to the erection of a beautiful permanent memorial dedicated to the victims of the slave. They've trade inside the compound near the visitor's entrance one of these essential aspects of telling the history of slavery. It's not forget it so it's not repeated what lessons can be learned more. Specifically amongst the use wendy are exposed to the history of slavery and slave trade. Unfortunately as i said many of all of these issues are recurring and so it is very important for us at young people understand the caroline. <hes> as i said this is about freedom. It's about human rights. It's about dignity <hes> and it's about the culture of emancipation and what we want to do is make sure that young people in particular understand how we can see memory in a positive way i mean despite all the pain that is in memory and the healing that has to happen <hes> we want to turn this into a constructive pivots for young people to know what must not happen again and i think fighting thing racism in particular is a very important part of what we do so <hes> some things is for example making sure that people understand that these <hes> <hes> now. We have things that we call sites of memory. It's bringing everything to the surface and especially investing. I think for young people into understanding this as part of cultural social heritage we have now a label which was created in two thousand and thirteen cool site of memory associated with the slave roots and we have excuse of memory in africa and south america north america europe indian ocean and the caribbean we have produced resource books for example food and the handbook for new approaches in interpreting and representing slavery in museums again. There is a lot of exchange. Now and young people are participating participating from the perspective of cultural expression <hes> about how we represents this issue in these public domains all of that is very important and maybe <hes> maybe finally under this thing. There are many cultural creative activities that we enjoy today that come from the resistance of those who were enslaved slave. I wanna talk about jazz reggae hip hop kappa wera <hes> and i think these are all methods through which we reach younger the people <hes> more more intimately. I think and more profoundly what do you think it's the role of the artists specifically in with the healing the pain that comes with this period of history well. I think artists have a remarkable obviously for for for unesco cultural expression is a core commitment but it's also a corps belief <hes> in the sense that we rely not on our artists so we have a fantastic coalition of artists who've been working with us <hes> on the general history of africa including understanding slavery in fact for <hes> today marcus miller the great jazz artists recorded according to the message for us <hes> his voice is an easy amplification of the messages. You know so we have material. We have the scientific evidence. Don't we have this study but the artists in their own creativity. I think can reach a much wider audience <hes> so that's in the sense of music and art but also these new issues that we're trying for example the concepts of tourism of memory you you know the idea is to help develop a tourism <hes> which helps to sensitize visitors to various countries around the world where there's already a lot of movement and we we are trying to rely on artistic insights as to how to make those experiences more accessible to ordinary people <hes> and i think this is all a very big role was for artists who have been very very generous in extending their support to us <hes> four events or advocacy mainly as the until reaching out to many many parts of the population. Can you talk a little bit onto obstacles encountered and <hes> what our future prospects of the project the difficulties of course are the fact that it took a long time for us to <hes> billions the body of knowledge we have an international scientific committee tea and it took time of course to build these specialists that who come from very different backgrounds and regions <hes> in fact they are this scientific the committee meeting today in china and then on where we launched the original project so <hes> you know when we met for the first time the project was conceived conceived in one thousand nine hundred ninety four in bene- it was widow and we have an event today in rita to commemorate that <hes> but <hes> ah the subject matter one of the challenges of course it's subject matter is very sensitive. It is very emotive. It is <hes> deeply deeply psychological. It is traumatic. <hes> so the notion of bridging conversations of facilitating the exchange exchange is very very complicated. We were in a meeting in virginia last year where the estates monticello president lincoln and so on are very active in the issue issue of reparations now but to get to that you have to come to tom <hes> with the legacy itself first of all and another another challenge is the acceptance of the recognition so we had someone come from for example the university of wisdom which is just understanding now that many of the oldest most wealthy families bristol made their money from the slave trade so the accountability <hes> understanding <hes> <hes> how this approach needs to be sensitive but very clear <hes> because it is about human dignity she and the end is very very complicated <hes> and then i think what we'd like to do you need to link to the fight against racism and discrimination because there are many new forms of enslavement and exploitation. I mean it's it's milt true <hes> that this is something of the past i think until the mid ninety s we thought of slavery as a thing of the past but we now understand from the human rights campaigners from many ngos there are many forms of contemporary slavery that still exists and there are many governments still working on anti slavery <hes> and i think this is a little bit the the future what we'd like to do is to understand given this relevant how we can really <hes> further. I think popularize is knowledge and focus for example on initiatives that helped cities to develop philip affirmative action policies how we can work with lawmakers to repair or correct historical distortions <hes> and how we can really <hes> put together coalitions of people who are committed to making a change in the spirit of the poor commitments commitments set any of the united nations but the broader community to human rights in this day and age. We believe that the burning issues that we face in today's the world if you read the headlines just today in fact the new york times <hes> this morning <hes> has an article on what they're calling sixteen nineteen projects which examines the legacy of slavery in america just today but if you look at equity <hes> development human rights cultural pluralism dialogue reconciliation conciliation most of all prevention. I think <hes> what some people have called the black hole in history. <hes> this is what we are dedicated zip through. This is why we have this international day to remind everyone and we look forward to close cooperation across the globe to make this really a marker of never again.

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