Barbadian artists, designers, sculptors, architects and other visual arts professionals have been invited to submit proposals for an international design competition that will see the creation of a Permanent Memorial at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York to honour victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

The competition is being hosted by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and the Permanent Memorial Committee, partners in the implementation of the programme.

Proposals, which may come from individuals or collaborative groups, must be submitted under the theme: Acknowledging the Tragedy; Considering the Legacy; Lest We Forget.

According to the two entities, the goal of the competition is to identify and select an outstanding design for the Permanent Memorial to enshrine the legacy of millions of African captives, whose untold stories, memories and contribution to humanity forever changed the world’s societies.

The selected design must have the potential to be an iconic monument that deepens the visitors’ visual and spiritual experience at the UN headquarters, as they acquire an understanding of this historical and social tragedy. The Memorial’s aesthetics appeal must complement the landscape of the UN headquarters.

The person submitting the winning entry will receive a US$50,000 prize.

The competition falls within the framework of the??International Year for People of African Descent, which is being observed this year, and contributes in particular to the implementation??of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (Paragraph 101) which calls for the international community to honour the memory of the victims of slavery.

It is expected that the Permanent Memorial will recognise the tragedy of slavery and draw attention to the lingering consequences of the centuries-long trade in and enslavement of Africans supplied to the colonies of the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe.

According to UNESCO, the legacy of hatred, bigotry, racism and xenophobia are still evident today, closely linked to persistent economic and social inequalities in many parts of the world.

All entries for the international design competition should be submitted to: UNESCO Headquarters, History and Memory for Dialogue Section, 1 rue Miollis’ 75732 PARIS CEDEX 15 FRANCE to the attention of the Permanent Memorial International Design Competition, by December 19, 2011. They may also be emailed to r.esclave@unesco.org with subject heading Permanent Memorial International Design Competition.

Further information on the competition guidelines and rules may be obtained by accessing websites: www.unesco.org/culture/slaveroute and http://www.unslaverymemorial.org/.

Information is also available through the National Commission for UNESCO, located at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.


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