Slavery tourists to voyage into island’s dark past

Slavery is to become the theme of a educational cruise on the RMS St Helena, island tourism chief Cathy Alberts has revealed.

It will tie in with the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery in December.

It will also draw on the excavation of the remains of 400 Africans from captured slave-running ships that were brought to St Helena. Those who reached shore alive endured harrowing conditions at a liberation depot in Rupert’s Valley.

Cathy told Saint FM presenter Tony Leo: “That is going to be the theme of the whole voyage.

“We will have archaeologists on board who will give talks. People will be able to go and see where some of the artefacts have been found.” 

In September 2012, executive councillor Bernice Olsson called for the island to become a place of commemoration for all Africans who were transported across the Atlantic on the notorious Middle Passage of the slave trade. 

She said: “These people are a reminder and a symbol of all those who, over 300 years, were enslaved and lost their lives in the journey from Africa to the Americas.

“Today, many people living on St Helena, and millions of others living in northern and suthern America, are descended from slaves who survived.

“Many would like to come to St Helena to learn about their ancestors, their families and the business of slavery.”

She also called for the urgent reburial of the human remains that had been exhumed to make way for airport works in Rupert’s Valley.

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the  United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others in 1949. An estimated 21 million women, men and children are reported to be trapped in slavery around the world.

Graphic: soundwave overlaid on image of graveyard map from book coverPODCASTS: Hear the story of St Helena’s anti-slavery fight

SEE ALSO: 
Slavery role should boost World Heritage case, says experts
AUDIO SLIDESHOW: ‘My intense grief for St Helena slaves’

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