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They and Their Children Are Slaves


‘They and Their Children Are Slaves’ is inspired by ‘Act for the better ordering of slaves’ - The South Carolina legislation which shows the regime of punishment and judicial killing imposed to maintain power by White people over enslaved Black people and Native Americans. This Act was only one in a long line of legislative measures, renewed frequently, imposing these regulations. The 1701 text had disappeared from historical records by the 19th century, but a single known copy survives, bound into a collection of manuscripts at the Bodleian Library.

'Nilupa Yasmin wants her work to make you uncomfortable, because nothing about this should make you feel anything less than indignation. Her photographic sculpture brings together intricately folded pages filled with heinous words. While we are drawn to the beauty in these creases, they also expose the ill treatment of enslaved peoples and the harsh reality of our collective history.'

This piece is part of the These Things Matter: Empire, Exploitation and Everyday Racism is a startling new exhibition exploring the devastating and long-term effects of the British Empire, curated in partnership with the Museum of Colour (MoC) and Fusion Arts. 
This one of a kind exhibition signals a new way of working within the culture and heritage sector, where large scale, traditional organisations work alongside nimble micro partners to co-create fresh and accessible visitor experiences.
Seven artists selected by the MoC and Fusion Arts interpret the items through sound, art installations and digital displays for a modern audience.  The exhibition will, for the first time, feature selected artefacts from the Bodleian's colonial collections. The inclusion of these artefacts allows visitors to understand how they were used to dehumanise people of colour in order to oppress them over several centuries.


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