This residency, faciliated by Andrea Coltman, brought sharply into focus a suppressed occupation and trade behind one of the busiest docks in the western world.
Trinkets left the London key-side to be traded for slaves in Africa, that were then transported and sold in exchange for the sugar and spices that came back to London during the seventeen & eighteenth centauries.
These merchants widely exploited the white dockers too, which lead to the trade unions in the nineteen hundreds representing their concerns. No acknowledgement or recompense has been made to African/Brits.
Now as the second business district of London, occupied by a desensitised corporate workforce, it still maintains this 'blinkered' attitude to the construction of their international deals. The financial district still trade through loans and investments, leading the third world into debt. In order to repay, the continent has open itself to further exploration by these multi national corporations of their natural resources.
There is a fundamental lack of appreciation of our hidden history. The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare is advocating a national slavery museum - where more appropriate than Canary Wharf?
It is imperative if we are to have a deeper understanding of our wealth as a nation and atone for the sins of our ancestors. We owe it to the next generation; we must lead the tide of social justice and equality for all. A slavery museum in the United Kingdom will be cathartic for our deeply wounded community.
Title inspired by the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition, London 1956.