Making reparative historical geographies: reconnecting cotton textile production past and present in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, UK Susanne Seymour (University of Nottingham, UK) CC Heritage Network Symposium, Lincoln, Jan 2016 Why? The need for reparative historical geographies Lack of coverage of histories of enslavement and colonialism in British heritage venues, particularly rural settings Feelings of exclusion and alienation by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in heritage
venues (Bressey, 2012, 2013) and the countryside (Neal and Aygeman, 2011) Dominant mainstream histories (Littler, 2008; Hall, 2005) Negotiating difficult histories (Horton & Horton, 2006) What? Global Cotton Connections: East Meets West in the Derbyshire Peak District, UK Project aim Objectives To examine global histories and legacies of cotton in the
Derbyshire Peak District through active engagement with local groups of diverse heritage backgrounds historical investigation of global cotton in Peak District examine histories and representations with diverse heritage groups develop heritage legacy materials reflect on processes of engagement with diverse community groups
Sheffield Nottingham How? Historical research The Strutt family case study, Derwent Valley Jedediah Strutt co-investor with Arkwright at Cromford By early 19th century leading cotton thread spinners in country Mills at Belper, Milford, Derby
Belper North & East mills Jedediah Strutt (1726-1797) Joseph Wright of Derby Mapping and reconnecting the Strutts cotton supplies A) Raw cotton supplies 1794-1817 (based on cotton bag data: Fitton & Wadsworth, 1958) B) Raw cotton supplies 1793-1798 (based on weights recorded
in cotton ledger: DRO D6948/2/5) Strutts Raw Cotton Suppliers: Thomas Tarleton (1753-1820) Liverpool merchant, slave trader, plantation owner, landed gentleman 1799 account of cotton supplied to Strutts John Tarleton, 1770, by Joseph Wright 196 bags: 7,621 (c. 24%) TransAtlantic Slave Trade (TAST) database numerous voyages
Legacies of British Slave-ownership database Grenada 998 (Mount Pleasant Estate) 9th May 1836 256 enslaved 6526.2s: claim from Rev. Dr. J.E. Tarleton and W.W. Drake, as trustees of the late Thos. Tarleton. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/11386 My three times great grandfather, York Quashie, was one of those 256 people. Abigail Bernard http ://lbsatucl.wordpress.com/author/lbshistory/ Mt. Pleasant with Tarleton Point in the far distance
(looking north east) How? community group activities Individual workshops Start-up workshops, May 2014 Joint visits to Derbyshire cotton mills Cromford and Belper mills, July 2014 Sharing perspectives Members of the Sheffield Hindu Samaj group attend Nottingham Slave Trade Legacies group workshop, 15 Nov 2014
How? Producing and presenting community legacy materials Making a film Creative writing & mapping STL film show, 20 June 2015 Poetry reading, 20 June 2015 (Photograph Debjani Chatterjee) Global Cotton Connections Untangling The Threads of Slavery
Illustrated poetry collection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2QmVm Indian Heritage XqP6g Walks in the Peak https ://slavetradelegacies.wordpress.com/time-line- District: Cotton Route our-year-the-colour-of-money How? Input into the DVMWHS Gateway Visitor Centre, Cromford
Text GCC supplied historical information on raw cotton supplies and global cotton story Visuals GCC & STL group questioned a proposed portrait wall Anything is better than the isolated black man that symbolises nothing related to the slave trade only that he was black. (STL group member) GCC proposed landscape of enslaved African cotton growers, factory workers & Indian weavers Arkwright Society retained portrait wall, minus black figure New landscape visual created by designers
Further feedback by GCC and STL group a greater sense of enslavement, toil and hardship needed overseer figure proposed remove playing children We wait to see the final version when Centre opens on 1st Feb! Concluding reflections Challenges of competing versions of public history Industrial heritage groups: emergent commercial imperative of Cromford Mills redevelopments lack of experience in DVMWHS in engaging with colonial and enslavement perspectives why are there so many foreigners visiting the mill? (Cromford volunteer 20 June 2015)
BAME groups: neglected communalities and differences between the GCC project groups Challenges of academic role academic broker role Why is my professor white?: Susanne why are you always with a white person [colleague]? sustaining collaboration and input Thanks to Helen Bates (heritage consultant) Esme Cleall (University of Sheffield) Michael Ledger (The Arkwright Society) Lowri Jones (University of Oxford) Nottingham Slave Trade Legacies group Lisa Robinson (Bright Ideas, Nottingham)
Mark Suggitt (DVM World Heritage Site) Sheffield Hindu Samaj heritage group http://globalcottonconnections.wordpress.com/ Twitter: @ConnectedCotton http://slavelegacies.wordpress.com/ Twitter @slavelegacies http://heritagehindusamaj.wordpress.com/
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