Month: January 2019

Workshop announcement: Archives into the Future, Decolonising the Archive

possible antislavery delegation in london (small)
Image: ‘No Caption [anti-slavery delegation to London?]’, Alice Seeley Harris, 1911-12, courtesy of Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Archives care for the past, but what is their role in caring for the future? The ‘Archives into the Future’ seminar series, organised by Antislavery Usable Past, provides a forum for creative debate about the issues facing archives today and seeks to explore innovative approaches towards using archives in the future.

On 26 March 2019 at Friends House in London, the final ‘Archives into the Future’ workshop will consider ‘Decolonising the Archive’. The issue of decolonising institutions has received increasing attention, with demands that universities, museums and other institutions challenge frameworks that prioritise Eurocentric perspectives. Continue reading

Heritage Plaque to Ida B. Wells

On the 12 February, join ASUP and Jak Beula (Nubian Jak Heritage Organisation) to honour African American activist Ida B. Wells with a heritage plaque in Birmingham.

Wells was a community activist who fought against the ugly legacies of American slavery, including lynching, racism and segregation. She fought for women’s suffrage, and wrote several books and pamphlets denouncing white domestic terrorism and the murder of innocent black men, women and children in the U.S. She visited Britain in 1893 and 1894 to campaign against lynching to transatlantic audiences.

ASUP has part funded the heritage plaque, which will be unveiled on the afternoon of the 12 February. The Nubian Jak Heritage Organisation has assembled an impressive array of events and talks, including contributions from local school children, the Birmingham Mayor, a representative of the U.S. Embassy, and local community activists.

Dr. Hannah-Rose Murray (ASUP) will also be delivering a lecture on Wells’ travels to Britain on 5 February at MAC Birmingham. The event is free, but please register at

The Crossing: An Immersive Screening

On Thursday 31st January at BACKLIT Art Gallery, please join The Rights Lab and the Antislavery Usable Past for an immersive and interactive screening of Dr. Shreepali Patel’s The Crossing, complete with bluetooth headphones.

The Crossing explores the story of a young girl who is manipulated through the “lover-boy technique”, and is subsequently trafficked for sex across Europe. Dr. Patel’s aim was to begin the film with the “concept of ‘hope’ and its gradual unfurling reality into an exploitation of trust to perpetuate a $150 billion world trade in her 21 million people, a third of which are children.” Through Dr. Patel’s extensive work with survivors, one described the experience as though the “body [was] separated from the soul.”

After the screening of the film (15 minutes), there will be a discussion with a panel of experts from the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham, home to the world’s leading modern slavery experts. 

The event will be held at BACKLIT Art Gallery, housed in a building owned by nineteenth-century abolitionist Samuel Morley. The event is free, but please register- 

This event is sponsored by The Rights Lab and the AHRC-Funded Antislavery Usable Past Grant. Based at the University of Nottingham, the RL is the world’s largest and leading group of modern slavery researchers.

Announcement of a special issue of the Journal of Modern Slavery by Antislavery Early Research Association

special edition image

Edited by Hannah Jeffery, Rebecca Nelson, and Katarina Schwarz
Foreword by Professors Jean Allain and Kevin Bales

SlaveFree Today and the Journal of Modern Slavery announced at the end of 2018 the publication of a special edition produced in collaboration with the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham and the Antislavery Early Research Association (Antislavery ERA), a network supported by the Rights Lab’s AHRC-funded Antislavery Usable Past grant project.

With the growing visibility of the contemporary antislavery movement on the global stage,and the rising demand for new and revolutionary research about human exploitation, emergent scholarship in the field is becoming increasingly vital.

This Special Issue transcends disciplinary boundaries, fuels collaboration, and brings the evolving research of early career scholars to light. Featuring the work of nineteen academics in nine papers, it incorporates fields of scholarship such as Law, American Studies, History, Geography, Social Science, and Business and gives voice to a new wave of antislavery research that connects past, present, and future. It highlights the important role of research networks at all levels of scholarship.

It covers a wide range of topics, including contemporary slavery through an historic lens; the prohibition of labor exploitation in Italy, Spain, and the UK; strategic litigation to combat modern slavery; immigration status decisions of post-NRM victims of human trafficking; the availability of eligible benefits and impact on victims of trafficking; procedural justice, victimcentricity, and the right to remedy for survivors; antislavery methods of visual protest from 1845 to Black Power; the first survey of children’s literature on modern slavery; analysing slavery through satellite technology; and collaborating to identify, recover and support victims of modern slavery.

This Special Issue centers survivor voices, not only in content, but by engaging a
survivor-scholar in the reviewing process of each article; the first ever journal issue to do so.