The horror of Slavery experienced first hand at Dark Heritage

April 23, 2007 by  

Dark HeritageDARK HERITAGE explores the horrors of 18th century slavery in a touring installation to mark the 2007 Bicentenary Of The Abolition Of The Slave Trade.

Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and have awarded grants to new not for profit arts company Bee Arts CIC for their Dark Heritage project, comprising The DARK, a sonic art installation, and newly created educational activities. HLF’s contribution will fund the creation, distribution and delivery of these participatory educational activities and Arts Council England’s contribution will fund the tour and distribution of these activities. Dark Heritage will travel to six locations in the UK starting in Greenwich in May and finishing in Bolton in December 2007 (see tour schedule below).

Carole Souter, Director of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Dark Heritage is a truly innovative and imaginative project which will help people of all ages to learn about the slave trade and its abolition in a sensitive and practical way. Bee Art’s installation is the 100th bicentenary project that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported and we were particularly impressed with its strong educational strand and desire to bring out many of the hidden histories of those who were involved in the abolition movement.”

The DARK Installation

When you enter The DARK you enter a pitch black space where a powerful and dramatic three dimensional soundscape immerses you in a story set in the dark days of the 18th century when British ships and British finance controlled the global slave trade. In The DARK your eyes are no use to you – instead, you will need to rely on your ears, your imagination and your courage to find your way through the narrative. The resulting experience is a stimulating mixture of the exciting, the challenging and the scary, and an encounter with our heritage that dramatically illuminates a particularly harrowing aspect of the slave trade.

Terry Braun, from Bee Arts said: “Although Dark Heritage is underpinned by rigorous historical research, it is not just about historical facts or the unsung participants in the movement to abolish slavery. Dark Heritage is above all an exploration of courage – particularly the courage to stand up for your beliefs, whether in 1807 or 2007”.

Dark Heritage Tour

  • 15 May to 17 June: Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College
  • 17 July to 8 August: Ipswich, St. Nicholas Centre
  • 4 to 28 September: Gloucester Cathedral
  • 4 to 29 October: Hereford, venue tbc
  • 4 to 9 November: Nottingham, venue tbc
  • 4 to 29 December : Bolton, Claremont Hall

Dark Heritage will be open to the general public, to school groups and community groups, offering a range of activities that have been specially created to enable visitors to immerse themselves in the dark days of the 18th century slave trade and learn more about lives of the real people who worked to abolish slavery.

Booking and full tour details will be available online at the Dark Heritage website from the 1st of May 2007:

Dark Heritage activities will be available to the public free of charge.


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