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Sat, Aug



On March 25, 1807, par­lia­ment in Lon­don, Eng­land, passed a law for­mal­ly abol­ish­ing the slave trade in the British Em­pire. How­ev­er, slav­ery didn't end then free­dom for ex­ist­ing slaves did not come in the British ter­ri­to­ries un­til 1838.

In de­scrib­ing the Slave Route Project, www.un­ ar­tic­u­lat­ed the fol­low­ing: "Ig­no­rance or con­ceal­ment of ma­jor his­tor­i­cal events con­sti­tutes an ob­sta­cle to mu­tu­al un­der­stand­ing, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and co­op­er­a­tion among peo­ples."

UN­ESCO (Unit­ed Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tion­al, Sci­en­tif­ic and Cul­tur­al Or­gan­i­sa­tion) has thus de­cid­ed to break the si­lence sur­round­ing the slave trade and slav­ery that have con­cerned all con­ti­nents and caused the great up­heavals that have shaped our mod­ern so­ci­eties.

Launched in 1994 in Ouidah, Benin, on a pro­pos­al from Haiti, the "Slave Route Project: Re­sis­tance, Lib­er­ty, Her­itage”, pur­sues the fol­low­ing ob­jec­tives:

- Con­tribute to a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the caus­es, forms of op­er­a­tion, stakes and con­se­quences of slav­ery in the world (Africa, Eu­rope, the Amer­i­c­as, the Caribbean, the In­di­an Ocean, Mid­dle East and Asia);

- High­light the glob­al trans­for­ma­tions and cul­tur­al in­ter­ac­tions that have re­sult­ed from this his­to­ry;

- Con­tribute to a cul­ture of peace by pro­mot­ing re­flec­tion on cul­tur­al plu­ral­ism, in­ter­cul­tur­al di­a­logue and the con­struc­tion of new iden­ti­ties and cit­i­zen­ships.

Un­der the guid­ance of an In­ter­na­tion­al Sci­en­tif­ic Com­mit­tee, the project con­tin­ues its ac­tions as to en­cour­age new re­search in ne­glect­ed re­gions, to de­fine new ap­proach­es for the teach­ing of this his­to­ry, to elab­o­rate new guides for the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, preser­va­tion and pro­mo­tion of sites and itin­er­aries of mem­o­ry re­lat­ed to the slave trade and slav­ery, to pro­mote the con­tri­bu­tions of peo­ple of African de­scent to the con­struc­tion of con­tem­po­rary so­ci­eties and fi­nal­ly to pre­serve writ­ten archives and in­tan­gi­ble her­itage re­lat­ed to this his­to­ry.

Since 2012, new con­cep­tu­al ori­en­ta­tions have been de­vel­oped for the project and pre­sent­ed to the mem­ber states, as to take in­to ac­count the new in­ter­na­tion­al con­text. They de­fine the prin­ci­pal do­mains of ac­tion of the project in re­sponse to the ma­jor stakes of the in­ter­na­tion­al agen­da and in par­tic­u­lar the ac­tion plan of the in­ter­na­tion­al decade for peo­ple of African De­scent (2015-2024), such as:

- A mem­o­ry shared his­to­ry and her­itage;

- In­ter­cul­tur­al­i­ty, tran­scul­tur­al­i­ty and new forms of iden­ti­ty and cit­i­zen­ship;

- Hu­man rights fight against racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion, new sol­i­dar­i­ties and new hu­man­ism;

- Africa and its di­as­po­ras past and present;

- Liv­ing cul­tures and con­tem­po­rary artis­tic cre­ation (de­pic­tion and stag­ing of slav­ery);

- In­ter­cul­tur­al ed­u­ca­tion, the cul­ture of peace and in­ter­cul­tur­al di­a­logue.

There is a re­luc­tance (and that may be an over­ly eu­phemistic de­scrip­tion) to dis­cuss slav­ery, eman­ci­pa­tion, repa­tri­a­tion, abo­li­tion. In the con­text of not on­ly T&T but the British Em­pire.

Slav­ery and in­den­tured labour along with Colo­nial­ism is an as­pect of T&T his­to­ry that ought not to be shunned.

To move past slav­ery and re­lease our­selves from the men­tal, emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal shack­les the fear - if that is what it is - of ex­am­in­ing our his­to­ry should be re­moved.

Sport in T&T has been im­pact­ed by the coun­try's his­to­ry, to what ex­tent, is a good con­ver­sa­tion to have. Such a con­ver­sa­tion may very well help iden­ti­fy the in­tan­gi­ble fac­tors hold­ing lo­cal sports back from re­al­is­ing its full po­ten­tial.

Ed­i­tor's Note:

Bri­an Lewis is the Pres­i­dent of the T&TOC Com­mit­tee and the views ex­pressed are not those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.


Support your TeamTTO Athlete

Rheeza Grant Interview - August 2019 - 2019 Pan Am Games, Lima, Peru

Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates after winning men's sprint gold at the Pan American Games ©Getty Images

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis has praised his nation's athletes after the country recorded their best medal performance at the Pan American Games in Lima.

Colin Murray |

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

A few fans stopped me to ask what I thought about the West In­dies' per­for­mance so far in the se­ries against In­dia in both the T20's and the ODIs.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDALLIST! Nicholas Paul of T&T celebrates beating compatriot Phillip Njisanel, also of T&T, to win the gold medal in the track cycling men's sprint final at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 3. (AP)

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

The Pan Amer­i­can Games closed on Sun­day but T&T is still cel­e­brat­ing its his­toric per­for­mance, claim­ing 13 medals, the most ever.

I happen to be initially browsing but having caught my attention, I then perused thoroughly, the 2018 Oxford Business Group country report on Trinidad and Tobago.  There were a number of perespectives, snap shots and overviews written. If one wanted to get a well researched and documented overview of the economic and business landscape within the twin Island Republic.

31 July is CANOC day. A message was sent out. That it barely registered or caught the attention of sport stakeholders in the Caribbean is an opportunity not a slight. CANOC must embrace the opportunity to heighten awareness and engage in enhanced outreach to provide information about the organisation.

It is cold in Lima, Peru, host city of the 2019 Pan Am Games. In fact, it is winter here in the South American nation.

With the one-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially underway, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, (TTOC) has announced that TTO athletes will benefit from a pre-games training camp at the Japan Athlete Training Center Osumi, in Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, as part of Japan’s Host Town Initiative.

Dylan Carter

Tokyo 2020

National swimmer Dylan Carter has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after reaching the semi-final in the 100m freestyle at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

In this file photo, (from L) TT's Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4×100m relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.

Tokyo 2020

TEAM TTO has been assured of a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Twelve years after their second place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games, sprinters Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman will receive their 4x100m relay gold.


Cartan Global         Michael Johnson Performance Puma