Our latest project is an exhibition and series of learning materials, produced with support from Salford University, titled Exploring the Legacies of Empire: Some Perspectives from the Global South. We began work on this in 2019 and as of 2023 it is ongoing.
Here are some themes we explore as part of this exhibition:
- the significance of the civilisations that existed prior to British colonisation, civilisations that came to be attacked and undermined – if not completely overlooked or ignored.
- the legacies of the vast forced migration that happened as a result of enslavement and the slave trade, and of the ‘white tide’ of British migration that overwhelmed colonised indigenous peoples.
- the environmental consequences of the exploitative economic system imposed by British colonialism.
- the imposition of national boundaries, the loss of political control and how indigenous and colonised peoples resisted this.
- systemic cultural oppression and the lasting legacy of the ideology of white supremacy.
Our discussion of these themes is centred around the views of the people who were colonised. How did they view this destructive intrusion? What were their experiences and responses? We look to sources from the Global South such as C.L.R James, the Trinidadian author of ‘The Black Jacobins’, who was one of the first historians to write about resistance to slavery from the point of view of Southern peoples – in this case of Caribbean peoples.
A previous project was an exhibition focusing on the contributions and experiences of colonised peoples from the Global South during the First World War, which we worked on between 2016 and 2018.