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Opportunities to join discussion about Gloucester’s links with slavery

Applications are being invited to take part in a documentary featuring new research from the University of Gloucestershire about the city of Gloucester and the slave trade.

The university has commissioned a short film on the city’s links with the slave trade that will be screened at the 2021 Gloucester History Festival – sponsored by the University of Gloucestershire – in September.

As part of the documentary, members of a citizens’ panel, comprising different age groups and backgrounds, will respond to the findings of a research project involving Dr Christian O’Connell, Senior Lecturer in American History, and History students.

Dr O’Connell is on the steering committee of the research project that has been launched by the Gloucester City Commission to Review Race Relations.

This Commission was created by Gloucester City Council following the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. The research project involves various heritage organisations in the city, as well as History students at the University of Gloucestershire.

“We’re very pleased to offer people an opportunity to be part of the citizen’s panel to engage with the research and respond to the many questions and issues raised by the documentary,” said Dr O’Connell.

“In Britain, the Black Lives Matters protests raised significant questions about the way we discuss, remember and often forget the history of the transatlantic slave trade.

“For many people, monuments represent long-standing injustice and the way that racism has played a significant but under-acknowledged role in our history.

“The review of monuments in Gloucester is an opportunity to use the heritage landscape of the city to promote a better understanding of this neglected history. 

“Our History students have also examined Gloucester citizens who received compensation when slavery was abolished and helped to shed light on the abolitionist movement that was present in the city.

“Exhibits of our research will be on display at the Gloucester History Festival, alongside the screening of the documentary. It will be extremely interesting to see how people in the city respond to the results.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the documentary should contact Dr O’Connell on Volunteers will need to be available for a half-day in late August, and will be given some compensation for their time and contributions.