Snippets of Our Past: On the Heels of Republicanism, a special exhibition highlighting significan
t moments of Barbados’ social and political evolution to Republican status, has been launched into the metaverse.
Archival records depicting the island’s complex history, both painful and celebratory, are now accessible via a virtual gallery on the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF) website.
‘Snippets of Our Past: On the Heels of Republicanism’ was launched on Sunday, November 28, to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Independence and the island’s move to a Parliamentary Republic.
The exhibition is a joint project between two key Government agencies: the National Cultural Foundation and the Barbados Archives Department.
It comprises a collection of priceless records, which were digitised and curated by the Barbados Archives Department, and provides viewers with the opportunity to experience history and to reflect on the tragic, triumphant and transformative moments of our past and our people.
Mounted and managed by the NCF, the exhibition consists of two galleries, Colonialisation to Nationhood and Heroes to Sovereignty, both of which can be accessed via the exhibition tab on the site. They cover the periods 1625-1966 and 1998-2021.
Collectively they highlight events and personalities from colonialism, the enslavement of Africans, to anti-colonial and resistance moments, to Independence and nationhood through to state sovereignty.
Speaking to the significance of the exhibition at this moment, Chief Archivist at the Barbados Archives Department, Ingrid Thompson, said: “It is necessary for us Barbadians to understand who we are as a people. For this to happen, it is critical that a deeper understanding of our history be acquired.
“The documents which will be showcased in this exhibition are just a microcosm of what is available at the Archives Department for research. As we embark on this journey of Republicanism, a new national consciousness must emerge if we are to succeed as a nation responsible for own affairs,” she stated.
The NCF’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Carol Roberts-Reifer, said the Foundation was “delighted to partner with its sister agency, the Barbados Archives Department, to host this virtual exhibition”.
“Indeed, this moment provides us with an opportunity to feature the rich documentary heritage for which the Barbados Archives is known, both locally and internationally.
“Equally, it provides us with the tools to help us create a moment of pause for Barbadians and those interested in Barbadian culture and history. Remembering and memorialising our ancestors, the nation-builders, known and unknown, named and unnamed are central to this.
“It reveres those who agitated for close to four hundred years for this significant juncture, where the Head of State of the island is a Bajan, born and bred,” the CEO said.