University of Repair

  • Rianna Norbert-David

University of Repair (UoR) was a year long collaborative project with Museum of London Docklands and Decolonising the Archive. These were a series of masterclasses and community consultations in response to the London Sugar and Slavery gallery (LSS) that was founded in 2007 to document the cultural, social and economic impact that Britain’s ‘craving for sugar’ in the Caribbean had and the legacies that still remain today. LSS sits within Museum of London Docklands which is an important historical (however, problematic) site that records the story of the docks including its colonial history and impact. UoR is a call to acknowledge these factors and initiate a process of repair. The aim was to create a safe space for those of Caribbean and African descent to congregate, express and start to heal. The masterclasses explored the role and relevance of heritage sites in having hard conversations around inclusivity and reparative justice as a catalyst for change. The four masterclasses were delivered by a range of high impact, expert speakers from performance artists and academics to activists, covering engaging, educational topics such as racial and environmental/climate activism, reparative justice, understanding memory through objects, development in African technologies, reclaiming wellness practices/spirituality and anti-racist pedagogy.