Although Barbados gained independence in 1966, having been under British rule since 1627, the nation just officially severed ties with the British monarchy in November. Instead of such events, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced that the nation would build a museum dedicated to the transatlantic slave trade.
This heritage site will be located in the capital Bridgetown and built under the direction of architect David Adjaye. The museum will feature the largest collection of British slave records outside of the UK, enabling “Barbados to authoritatively map its history in a lasting, healing and powerful way,” Mottley said in a statement. “He will discover the still untold heritage embedded in centuries-old artefacts, revealing both the history and the trajectory of Barbados into the future,” he added.
Additionally, the museum will serve as a research center and is located right next to the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground, where in 1970 researchers detected the remains of 570 enslaved West African men, women and children. In a development statement, Adjaye Associates said space “honors the dead, uplifts the living and manifests a new diasporic future for the black civilization that is both from and distinct from the African continent”.
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