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To mark Black History Month, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies is hosting the screening of ‘A Story of Bones’. 

As the Environmental Officer for St Helena’s troubled £285m airport project Annina Van Neel learned of the island’s most terrible atrocity – an unmarked mass burial ground of an estimated 9,000 formerly enslaved Africans in Rupert’s Valley. It is one of the most significant traces of the transatlantic slave trade still on earth. Haunted by this historic injustice, Annina Van Neel now fights alongside renowned African American preservationist Peggy King Jorde and a group of disenfranchised islanders – many of them descendants of the formerly enslaved – for the proper memorialisation of these forgotten victims. The resistance they face exposes disturbing truths about Britain’s colonial past and present.

This film screening will be followed by a short discussion by Peggy King Jorde, and a Q&A session.

Speaker Biographical Note:

Peggy King Jorde is a cultural projects consultant combining more than 30 years of experience in architecture and historic preservation projects in New York City and beyond.

King Jorde served under three New York City mayors, providing comprehensive oversight of all capital construction projects specific to New York’s cultural landmarks, public art, and art museums. King Jorde took the lead in advocating and shepherding the creation of New York’s African Burial Ground Memorial and Interpretive Centre.

She is now an advocate for the preservation of the African burial ground discovered on Saint Helena Island, which she discussed in a recent UN forum. The island is an important marker of the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade, located midway between Africa and the New World on the routes used by slave traders.

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required as spaces are limited.