Movies have sometimes tried to depict the history of slavery; controversial visual images can be one way to inform young people, but are schools and exhibitions up to the job of teaching this shameful past? And what are the best ways to transmit a message to future generations? We explore this delicate topic with reports from three different countries and look at how they are confronting their past.
Guadeloupe: a taboo subject
Guadeloupe has long been shy about teaching the history of its enslaved ancestors. The topic of slavery was not mandatory in schools until recently when the French government integrated it in the national curricula. It has presented challenges for both students and teachers.
Senegal: of human bondage
History relies on research, and the history of slavery is no different. One African researcher and university professor has drawn useful lessons from the experience of slavery in his country. He wants to teach this sensitive subject effectively and show young people how to build on it positively.
France: trade of shame
For a researcher, museums and exhibitions can be an important source of information and a creative way to teach students about the past. And in France the city of Nantes, which was a major slave port in the country, has now built a memorial to the abolition of slavery.