Image copyright Christian Aid/Leah Gordon
Liverpool artwork of the day – Wednesday August 29 2007. Freedom! sculpture – Haiti, 2007 in The International Slavery Museum, Liverpool.
This original sculpture by a group of Haitian artists represents their continuing struggle for freedom and human rights. The sculpture was commissioned by international development charity Christian Aid and National Museums Liverpool to mark 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in 2007.
The Freedom! sculpture, made out of recycled objects such as metal car parts and raw junk found in the dangerous slums of the capital, Port-au-Prince, was created by young Haitians and sculptors Eugène, Céleur and Guyodo from Atis Rezistans in collaboration with Mario Benjamin, an internationally renowned Haitian artist who has represented his country at Biennials in Venice, São Paulo and Johannesburg.
Touring exhibit returns to Liverpool
The sculpture was first displayed at the Merseyside Maritime Museum from 26 February to 18 March 2007, before embarking on a UK tour to Stratford Circus Arts Centre in London, The Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol and The Eden Project, Cornwall. It will now be a permanent exhibit in the new International Slavery Museum which opened in Liverpool on 23 August 2007. This is an appropriate date as it is Slavery Remembrance Day, the day which commemorates the anniversary of the uprising of enslaved Africans in Haiti in 1791.
Freedom and slavery in Haiti
Despite the fact that Parliament abolished the slave trade in the UK 200 years ago, global inequalities still exist today. It is no longer legal for people to be traded as commodities. But millions of people in places like Haiti, are still forced by poverty to work in unhealthy, dangerous – even life-threatening – conditions.