Slavery North: An Exhibition of Art, Artifacts, and Documents



Slavery North: Representing Canadian Slavery


WHO: Organized by, Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson, Director - The Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery and the students in the winter 2022 seminar "The Visual Culture of Slavery"

Research Assistants: Emily Davidson and Achini Pabasara Ranasinghe Ranasinghege

WHAT: Transatlantic Slavery was practiced in Canada from the 1600’s to 1834 from Ontario eastward to Newfoundland. A form of chattel slavery, it reduced human beings to moveable personal property under the law with no rights over their own bodies or that of their children or kin. Despite the significant evidence of its 200-year history, slavery has largely been erased and replaced instead by celebratory narratives of the Underground Railroad and the pervasive histories of plantation slavery in tropical plantation regimes. Under the British and the French Empires, slavery was a fixture of urban settlements like Halifax and Quebec City and became a normal part of everyday life for both middle class and wealthy whites. While across the Americas, black Africans were always deemed to be “enslavable,” in New France/Quebec, both Black and Indigenous people were held in bondage. Organized by Prof. Charmaine A. Nelson (Director of the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery), her Research Assistants, and the students in her Winter 2022 seminar “The Visual Culture of Slavery,” Slavery North examines art, artifacts, and documents produced within the context of Canadian Slavery and other slave minority, temperate climate regions to interrogate the physical brutality, psychological control, and social surveillance that allowed slavery to flourish. It also explores the resilience of enslaved people who resisted their enslavement with intelligence and valour in various ways.

HOW: We are very grateful for the generous support of our sponsors: Canadian Commission for UNESCO & Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Connections Grant)

WHERE: Anna Leonowens Art Gallery, Granville Mall, NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

WHEN - OPENINGMonday, March 28th, 5:30pm to 7:00pm

WHEN - EXHIBITION: March 29 to April 2, 2022

EXTRAS:  Thank you to Jennifer Holness and David (Sudz) Sutherland of Hungry Eyes Media for allowing us to screen the following episodes of their breakthrough docu-series BLK: An Origin Story at the Anna Leonowens Gallery during the exhibition: Three Epic Migrations, One People (NS) & John "Daddy: Hall (Owen Sound, Ontario)

Check out Jennifer and Sudz in their interviews:

The Morning Show Global TV (25 February 2022)

The Victory Speaks Show (9 March 2022)