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RTN Crew, African American Progress, Crenshaw Blvd at W. 50th St (Black Neighborhood), Los Angeles, 2002 (2).jpg

The Crenshaw Wall

In 2000, a graffiti collective called Rocking The Nation (RTN) began The Crenshaw Wall, colloquially known as The Great Wall of Crenshaw. At 7,787 feet long, the mural has become a landmark for the area. The timeline depicts African American history, and features the antislavery figures Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, as well as Marcus Garvey, black soldiers from World War I, II and Vietnam, and Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie. A shackled slave breaks free from his chains and evolves into an athlete, American footballer and basketball player. Further along the mural are Black Panther Party leaders alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. The mural starts with a black woman breathing life into the mural and ends with a couple giving birth.“We finally get the chance to paint the Crenshaw Wall, and bring some black awareness to the Crenshaw Wall – to teach the history of our people, to teach our people to be proud, to teach our people love, and where we came from and where we might possibly end up,” explained Enk One of RTN.Over a decade later, the mural requires restoration and protection. RTN are working towards this goal, as well as designating the mural a historical landmark, renaming the block ‘Crenshaw Mural Square’ and developing an app that gives a visual tour of the mural.

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Ker

Ker Deng, one of the Dinka people of Southern Sudan, was captured into slavery as a child during Sudan's civil war. His father had died and he was captured alongside his mother, Angel Mangok Diin, and taken to the North by raiders. He was blinded by his slave-holder, Zakaria Salih, as punishment for letting a goat escape. Unfit for work, he lived with a neighbour then in 2010 was handed to slave retrievers who return former slaves to the South. In 2011, a sponsor enabled him to resettle in the United States. His mother remains enslaved.

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National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is the largest maritime museum in the world. It forms part of the Royal Museums Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site. The NMM houses ten galleries that all showcase Britain’s Maritime History. Its mission is 'to enrich people’s understanding of the sea, the exploration of space, and Britain's role in world history’. ‘The Atlantic Worlds Gallery,' launched in 2007 for the commemoration of the bicentenary, charts the interconnections between Britain, Africa and the Americas between 1600 and 1850. The gallery is about the movement of people, goods and ideas across and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 17th century to the 19th century. The connections created by these movements affected people across three continents, impacting on their cultures and communities and shaping the world we live in today. Four main themes are explored within the gallery, including exploration, war, enslavement and resistance. These displays benefited extensively from the museum's purchase of the Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection in 2002. 'Atlantic Worlds' charts the triangular trade through African civilisations, enslavement and the Middle Passage, and the abolition movement. It recounts the stories of some of the people involved in the resistance movement and the campaign for the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade – including Toussaint l’Ouverture, Olaudah Equiano and Samuel Sharp whose acts of resistance and rebellion were crucial to the turning of European public opinion against the trade. Its narrative also goes beyond the achievement of legal abolition in Britain, to include discussions of the Royal Navy's involvement in suppressing the trade world wide.

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Anywar

Anywar was abducted in 1988 at age 14 to serve as a child soldier in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Led by Joseph Kony, the LRA was fighting to overthrow Uganda’s secular government. The war in northern Uganda lasted from 1986 until 2006, during which time more than 35,000 boys and girls were enslaved by the LRA. In 1999, Ricky and his friends started Friends of Orphans (FRO), an organization which works to contribute to the empowerment, rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers, abuductees, child mothers, orphans, and to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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Denise

Denise became a child soldier in the Philippines at the age of 16. In the Philippines, where three major insurgent groups have fought the Philippine military since the 1960s, there are an estimated 2000 child soldiers. The Communist-oriented New People’s Army, established in 1968, began an intense recruitment of children in the 1990s. By 2000, some 25 percent of new recruits were children, and more than ten percent of its regular combatants are now under 18. Parents volunteer children to serve as combatants and camp guards. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front allows the training of children as young as 12. Parents volunteer their children, seeing it as an observation of Islamic teaching, and Muslim youth organizations recruit students from schools and colleges. The Abu Sayyaf (“Bearer of the Sword”), a Muslim separatist group which appeared in the late 1980s, uses Islamic religion to draw minors into the movement, for use as combatants, human shields, and hostages.

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Arwa

ISIS has singled out the Yezidi minority, notably its women and children, for particularly brutal treatment. In August 2014, ISIS fighters abducted hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidi men, women and children who were fleeing the IS takeover from the Sinjar region, in the north-west of the country. Hundreds of the men were killed and others were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry ISIS fighters and supporters. Arwa was abducted in August 2014 in a village south of Mount Sinjar with scores of her relatives and hundreds of neighbours. She was held in ISIS captivity in various places in Syria and Iraq, where she was raped, before escaping. Sixty-two of her relatives, including her mother and siblings, are still in ISIS hands. She was 15 years old during her enslavement and when she told her story in late 2014.

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Concy

In war-torn Uganda, the abduction of boys to become child soldiers has been widely reported on. However, the fate of thousands of Ugandan girls, who were abducted and sexually exploited, forced to become sex slaves for rebels and soldiers during Uganda’s civil war, has received less attention.

Concy was one of these Ugandan girls who were abducted and forced to serve the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) through sexual slavery, fighting, and forced labour. Her story emphasizes how the stigma around those who manage to escape back to their families and communities makes it difficult to reintegrate, and can lead back into a situation of slavery.

According to the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons report 2017, some Ugandans abducted by the LRA prior to 2006 remain unaccounted for, and may remain captive with LRA elements in the DRC, Central African Republic, and the disputed area of Kafia Kingi, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.

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Randa

ISIS has singled out the Yezidi minority, notably its women and children, for particularly brutal treatment. In August 2014, ISIS fighters abducted hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidi men, women and children who were fleeing the IS takeover from the Sinjar region, in the north-west of the country. Hundreds of the men were killed and others were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry ISIS fighters and supporters. Randa was abducted in August 2014 from her village south of Mount Sinjar with her parents and siblings and scores of other relatives. She was sold or given as a “gift” to a man twice her age who then raped her. Her father was killed along with other male relatives. Her mother, who was heavily pregnant when she was abducted, gave birth in ISIS captivity and was still being held with scores of other women and children from the family when Randa told her story. Some were being held in Syria, others in Iraq. Randa and two of her aunts and two uncles managed to escape at different times. She was 16 years old during her enslavement and when she told her story in late 2014.

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Women of the Congo: Photography of Isabel Muñoz and Concha Casajús, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Madrid (17 March - 18 June 2017)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by conflicts over control, extraction and distribution of natural resources such as coltan, diamonds and oil. In this exhibition, photographers Isabel Muñoz, National Photography Award 2016, and Concha Casajús present the struggle of Congolese women in the face of the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. The show is a series of portraits and testimonies of women from Bukavu, in the province of South Kivu, in the east of the country. The exhibition aims to make the situation of these women visible, as well as the violence they suffer. But at the same time, it invites us to reflect on the way in which these women face such suffering, rejecting in many cases the status of victims and trying to survive with dignity. Many have managed to get rid of this stigma and have struggled collectively to become activists and successful women. All a song to those women who have broken the silence and, from mutual support and sorority, have become true heroines of this twenty-first century.

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I Dream of Congo, Touring Exhibition, Congo Connect

‘I Dream of Congo: Narratives from The Great Lakes’ is a unique exhibition combining words and images from renowned international creatives alongside a groundbreaking exhibition of photos taken by women in eastern Congo. The exhibition celebrates the hope and optimism that pervades in the region despite years of war. It poses hard questions around the international community’s inaction in the face of the conflict, the continuing illicit trade in minerals from Congo and the failure to stem the tide of sexual violence.

During the February 2013 exhibition launch, The Frontline Club, Women for Women International, One Billion Rising and Save the Congo held events in the space that related to the theme. The exhibition was first shown in February 2013 at Conway Hall London, before moving on to other venues in the UK, including a conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo at St Andrews University in April 2013. In 2014, 'I Dream of Congo' formed part of the 'Brutal Exposure' exhibition at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. Most recently, the exhibition appeared at the June Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London's Excel Centre, spearheaded by William Hague and Angelina Jolie. At this Summit we hosted an exclusive event and film screening with Dr Denis Mukwege.

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Su Thet Htoo

There are an estimated 575,000 people living in modern slavery in Myanmar (Burma). It is a country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and for women and children subjected to sex trafficking, both in Myanmar and abroad. It is also increasingly a destination and transit country for foreign victims, including women and girls from India. Some Burmese men, women, and children who migrate for work abroad—particularly to Thailand and China, as well as other countries in Asia, the Middle East, and the United States—are subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking. Men are subjected to forced labor abroad in fishing, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, and construction, while women and girls are primarily subjected to sex trafficking, domestic servitude, or forced labor in garment manufacturingAfter four and a half months of training, Su Thet Htoo was sent to work as a guard on the frontline in Karen state, where there have long been insurgents. He was finally freed after campaigning by his mother. The Burmese Army agreed to stop using child soldiers in 2012, but there are signs that this has not stopped completely, and armed ethnic groups still recruit both men and boys through intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence. In addition to formally recruiting at least two children into its ranks in 2016, the military may have continued to use children for labor or other support roles. Some ethnic armed groups abduct or recruit children—including from internally displaced persons’ camps—for use as soldiers in fighting against the Burmese army.

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Al

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls, thought men and boys are also trafficked for sexual exploitation. They often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.  Al Bangura was born and raised in Sierra Leone but now lives in London with his wife and young children. Wanting to help support his family, Al travelled to Guinea where he was told by a man that he could play footbal in Paris. Al trusted this man, however on arrival in Paris, he was put in a room and subjected to sexual exploitation daily. He is now a professional footballer who has played for Watford Football Club in the UK’s Premier League.

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John

The Global Slavery Index estimated that in 2016 modern slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa accounted from approximately 13.6 percent of the world's total enslaves population. The issue of child soldiers remains a problem across the region.South Sudan has been experiencing a civil war since 2013 and it is estimated that round 19,000 children are serving in the ranks of armed forces and militia groups in the country. Young children, mostly young boys, are forced to abduct, rape and kill members of their own community under threats to their own lives. While continued international pressure has led to the freeing of over 200 child soldiers in April, 2018, the number of children forced to fight continues to grow due to ongoing aggression in the region. John was recruited as a child soldier by rebels in South Sudan when he was 16 years old

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David

The Global Slavery Index estimated that in 2016 modern slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa accounted from approximately 13.6 percent of the world's total enslaves population. The issue of child soldiers remains a problem across the region. South Sudan has been experiencing a civil war since 2013 and it is estimated that round 19,000 children are serving in the ranks of armed forces and militia groups in the country. Young children, mostly young boys, are forced to abduct, rape and kill members of their own community under threats to their own lives. While continued international pressure has led to the freeing of over 200 child soldiers in April 2018, the number of children forced to fight continues to grow due to ongoing aggression in the region. David was captured and forced to fight for rebels in South Sudan at the age of 16 years old.

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Zeinaba

The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels such as the anti-balaka to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many Muslim women in the country.  Zeinaba was 12 years old when she was captured by the anti-balaka and spent a week being raped and forced to cook and clean for the militia group under the threat of physical violence. 

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Angèle

The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels such as the anti-balaka to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many Muslim women in the country.   Angèle, 27, became pregnant and gave birth to a child as a result of repeated rape after Seleka fighters killed her husband and took her near Bambari in June 2014 and held her in sexual slavery for nine months with five other women and girls. 

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Martine

The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many women in the country.     Martine, 32, was at her family’s home in Bambari when Seleka forces attacked the town in December 2013. She watched as Seleka fighters forced her husband and older brother to dig two graves and then shot them. The Seleka took Martine captive along with more than 20 other women and girls, some as young as 12. 

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Michel Chikwanine

There are an estimated 1,045,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (GSI 2018). In 2016 several armed groups continued to abduct and forcibly recruit men, women and children as combatants and in support roles such as guards, cleaners, cooks and spies.  In 2016, 184 cases of child soldiers were reported, with 1,662 children reported to have seperated or escaped from armed groups. Child soldiers who manage to escape remain vulnerable to re-recruitment as adeqaute rehabilitation services remain unavailable to children suffering trauma, stigmatisation and the continued threat of armed groups.   Michel Chikwanine was 5 years old when he was abducted by rebel soldiers while playing football with his friends. Driven for hours to an unknown location, when Michel and his friends finally stepped out of the trucks, they were drugged, blindfolded, given guns, and forced to shoot each other. For two weeks Michel was subjected to ‘training’ and then taken with other child soldiers to ‘take over’ a village. Michel was able to escape, running for 3 days and 3 nights through the jungle back to his home village. Michel now lives in Canada and is studying at university alongside working as a survivor advocate to eradicate the use of child soldiers.  

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Akeen Gon Bol and Achol Deng

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Akeen was just a toddler when he was abducted by the murahileen and taken to Matek.

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Abuk Ucoak Bol

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Abuk Ucoak Bol was kidnapped in 1986 by the murahileen during a time of famine. Her parents and one of her children were killed when trying to prevent them being separated. Abuk was subjected to rape, beatings and forced to wash and clean for the man who killed her parents.