Welcome to a round-up of the latest additions to the resource library over the last month.
The one podcast this time is from The Guardian’s Long Read; When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity? The subtext to this podcast states that ‘after the abolition of slavery, Britain paid millions in compensation – but every penny of it went to slave owners, and nothing to those they enslaved. We must stop overlooking the brutality of British history.’ This podcast is excellent in giving a more rounded view as to Britain’s role in the slave trade, the broader factors which led to the abolition (other than the myth of benevolence) and the aftermath which did not provide the expected liberation.
There are four film additions. The first one is African Origins which comes from a 1987 TV show where two renowned historians Yosef Ben-Jochannan and George Simmonds enlighten the presenter and audience about ancient African civilisations. What they speak about was surprising then and continues to have a similar impact as such early African history is a subject almost entirely neglected in mainstream historical accounts.
The second film has art historian Gus Casely-Hayford on the Lost Kingdoms of West Africa with a focus on the 16th-century Benin bronzes. He looks at how the ancient techniques and skills of the artisans have survived through the ages.
The third film, The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files, is a documentary that delves into the lives of the families caught up in the current British government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy. This has led to the offspring of the Windrush invitees finding themselves deprived of health and social care and threatened with deportation.
The fourth is a short film by BBC about the million-dollar trade in trafficked rosewood trees. This relays how the illicit smuggling of rosewood trees out of Senegal to Gambia is fuelled by the Chinese demand as China runs out of stocks from elsewhere. This creates a huge expanse of deforestation leading to an irreversible environmental catastrophe that will escalate without governmental intervention.
There are two new articles this week. The first is by the two historians Nicholas Radburn and David Eltis who are editors of the slavery digital tool. They outline the components within the database and its application. They show the scale of slave trade, the generated wealth and are able to communicate the horrors that the enslaved had to endure. The digital database was added into our directory some months ago but this article gives a good overview of its content.
The second is takes 14 African musical styles for you to explore by Chartwell Dutiro. It gives a flavour the rich and diverse musical styles which are probably lesser known. It delves into the artists on the Real World Records website to provide examples of the sounds. We have also added Real World Records as a directory entry this month.
Four links have been added to the Directory this week. The first is Real World Records, which offers a platform for artists around the world to enable them to reach beyond their geographical region. Originally founded by WOMAD and Peter Gabriel, it has been going since 1989.
The second is Art UK which houses the online collection of public art with the collaboration of over 3,000 British institutions. Its aim is to make art more easily accessible. The third is Atlanta Black Star which has narratives designed to enlighten readers of African descent or those who are interested in the African culture. It covers a broad range of issues which touches every aspect of daily living within a local and global context.
This week’s additions
- 2 articles (Slavery digital tool, 14 African musical styles)
- 4 films (African Origins, Lost Kingdoms of Africa, The Secret Windrush files, rosewood smuggling)
- 1 podcast (Britain’s crimes against humanity – slavery)
- 3 entries (ArtUK, Real World Records, Atlanta Black Star)
Image – Drummers at Odwira Festival (Credit: Isaac Acheampong)