Dark side of slave trade exhibition

SINISTER aspects of the 18th Century slave trade are being brought to life by a new exhibition at the St Nicholas Centre in Ipswich. The Dark is part of the national commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.

SINISTER aspects of the 18th Century slave trade are being brought to life by a new exhibition at the St Nicholas Centre in Ipswich.

The Dark is part of the national commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.

It uses a powerful three-dimensional sound system to bring to life the conditions faced by human cargo on slave ships crossing the Atlantic.

Entering The Dark, the drapes close and plunge visitors into total darkness.

The fragmented story depicts the memories and flashbacks of Edward Rushton, a Liverpudlian crewman of a slave ship.

As the sound begins your imagination takes hold. Immediately you are flung into a storm, the 3D sound throwing you off balance. Voices, creaking of timbers, waves and desperate pleas surround you. With no sense of sight to rely on, your ears immerse your mind in the terrifying experiences of people transported as cargo.

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The Dark, which is supported by workshops and educational activities, provides an acute awareness of the destinies faced by the victims of the slavery trade in a powerful and accessible way to all ages.

James Halsall from the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, involved in the project planning, said: “This exhibition really caught our imagination as an exciting means of commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. We are delighted people in Ipswich have had the chance to experience it.”

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