On 22 May, UNIC Antananarivo, in partnership with UN Clubs, organized a cine-debate for the Commemoration of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade under the theme “Free Forever: Celebrating the Emancipation” at the Collège Rasalama Ampandrana.
The event started with the reading of the UN Secretary-General’s message on the Day. Followed by a screening of a documentary produced by UNESCO entitled “Route de l’Esclave: Une vision Globale”, which depicts the origins, forms and consequences of the enslavement of people of black descent from the Middle Ages.
After the screening, three panelists took the floor to further educate the students. The first panelist, a history professor, gave a historical background of the transatlantic slave trade as well as slavery documents such as the Black Code. The next, a human rights expert, presented the international conventions, protocols and declarations relating to slavery abolition and condemnation. Lastly, a trainer who visited the legendary Island of Gorée where slaves were gathered for export to America, told of the conditions in which slaves were captured or exchanged for Western articles, chained, piled up and transported like cattle.
After the presentations, another film was screened. The students were visibly moved by the film Case Départ, which tells the story of two modern black brothers who are magically sent into the past to experience the sufferings of their slave ancestors in the Caribbean plantations.
In the end, documents were distributed, including the UN Secretary-General’s Message for the Day, a backgrounder on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and the list of international conventions relating to human rights and the laws authorizing their ratification.