Barbados Plans to Build Museum to Remember Victims of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Rendering of the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial, which will anchor the Barbados Heritage District © Adjaye Associates

The architect David Adjaye is to design a major new heritage site in Barbados, the country’s prime minister announced this weekend. The new site on the Caribbean island will lie next to a burial ground where the bodies of 570 West African victims of British transatlantic slavery were discovered.

The Barbados Heritage District “will be dedicated to unlocking the enduring trauma and histories of enslavement,” Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s office says in a statement.

Work on the district is scheduled to begin on 30 November 2022, to mark the first anniversary of Barbados becoming a parliamentary republic. The design is based on blueprints created by the celebrated British-Ghanian architect, and will be located next to the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial, a former sugar plantation near the island’s capital Bridgetown where African slaves once worked under bondage.

The site is the largest and earliest known slave burial ground in Barbados, where the remains of hundreds of enslaved West African men, women and children were uncovered in the 1970s using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology.

The district will comprise a research institute and museum, and will be the first Caribbean memorial and archive of its kind.

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SOURCE: The Art Newspaper, Tom Seymour