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Legacies of Slavery in Gloucestershire

This project examines the links between the heritage landscape of Gloucestershire and the transatlantic slave trade.

The debate over the way slavery is memorialized in the built environment following the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 highlights the way different interpretations of the past, as well as a lack of appreciation for aspects of British history have played a role in contemporary social divisions.

The reconsideration of public monuments and other forms of memory work in the county represents an opportunity to utilize the heritage landscape to promote a more critical understanding of this neglected history, and address issues of social and cultural controversy.

The project has involved contributing towards a report commissioned by Gloucester City Council’s Race Relations Commission to review the city’s links to the slave trade, and making a short documentary film on the research findings. The report was published on 25th January 2022 and is now being considered by the Council. The project involves further plans for public engagement on the research, including screenings and discussions on the documentary film.

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Research project lead, Dr Christian O’Connell

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This research forms part of the research priority area, Culture, Continuity & Transformation.