Journey to Justice Liverpool
JtoJ Liverpool welcomed a phenomenal 147,000 visitors during its six months at the International Slavery Museum. Manto Psarelli, Exhibitions Officer at National Museums Liverpool wrote this rich report about our partnership and responses to our joint exhibition.
Interviews at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool
Advice for activists, talking about the importance of education, people power, breaking down barriers and stereotypes and working with all communities from:
Michelle Charters, CEO, Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, Liverpool
Marcia Saunders, volunteer with the Voter Registration Campaign in 1960s, Tennessee
Councillor Ann O’Byrne Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Warbreck ward, Liverpool
Staff and students at Greenbank College, one of our partners in Liverpool created a fascinating exhibition about Paralympian Gerry Kinsella & the College. It was on display at Central Library, Liverpool in April 2019.
To celebrate our arrival in Liverpool, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour interviewed Jean Stallings, JtoJ patron and long-time civil rights and anti-poverty campaigner whose story we tell in the exhibition:
Jean Francois Manicom, Curator at the International Slavery Museum Liverpool welcomed JtoJ ‘home’ at our launch on October 4th. JtoJ Director Carrie Supple and JtoJ Liverpool project manager Tamla Parris-Bah spoke about how delighted we are to be there and Tamla outlined our plans for projects with local partners. Her daughter Nirvana and community activist Michelle Charters cut a JtoJ blue ribbon to declare the exhibition open until April 7th 2019. Guests came from across the community – artists, activists and teachers. The team at the museum worked hard to make sure everything was in place, co-ordinated by Exhibitions Officer Manto Psarelli. Our stories look great and it was a pleasure to welcome one of the people we feature – Marcia Saunders, a voter registration worker in the American civil rights movement.
The local section is, as always, key to the exhibition. On display are vibrant zines fromOver Here Zine Fest, focusing on the work of Black, Asian and BAME zine makers, artists, writers and activists. ‘Of Rights and Resistance’ displays artworks as an outcome of a collaboration between ISM and the Graphic Design and Illustration department at Liverpool John Moores University in response to the Museum’s civil rights and legacies of slavery collections. The contemporary activist movement is explored through the works and voices of activists and artists in Liverpool, generated by the Sankofa Project which explores the experience of the Black community who continue to challenge injustice.
Visitors can hear interviews with two remarkable Liverpool women. Michelle Charters is CEO of Kuumba Imani Millenium Centre and she talks about the importance of dialogue, education and history, paying moving tribute to Dorothy Kuya who was such a role model. Michelle Peterkin-Walker Founder and Director of Akoma Arts describes the transforming effect on housing, employment, greening and the arts of collective and determined action by people in Granby.
“Activism has a powerful and unifying ripple effect which means the impact of figures such as Dr Martin Luther King Jr. are still evident today, in this Museum, in this city and beyond. It’s a privilege to be working with campaigners like Janice Wesley and Marcia Heinemann Saunders. They blazed a trail but would likely call themselves ordinary. We hope to inspire the visitors through their stories and the practical information in this exhibition. This isn’t about giving people all the answers – it’s giving them the inspiration and the knowledge. Know your cause, find your campaign, and explore your options and your way of doing things. Then get out and mobilise.” Jean-Francois Manicom
We’re looking forward to working with Stef Bradley, Education Manager and Adam Duckworth, Education Demonstrator based at ISM’s Anthony Walker Education Centre and hearing about the programme of complementary events they have organised.
We were bowled over to hear there were 3,300 visitors in the first three days of opening!
“Journey to Justice tells the stories of everyday people, the unsung heroes, who quietly change lives by the actions they take – an excellent inspirational exhibition, thank you for inviting me.”
Mary Beaumont CEO Greenbank College who attended the launch with its Founder Gerry Kinsella MBE. Greenbank students and staff are planning an exhibition to be displayed at the Central Library next April about Gerry’s life and work, dedicated to the education of young people with disabilities.