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Honoring Louisiana slave rebellion


Hundreds of people mobilized in Louisiana in the United States to reenact the largest uprising of slaves to celebrate freedom.

They will relive the 1811 revolt during which black slaves took up arms to break the chains of servitude.

Participants will also wear costumes from the era. With the sound of the sewing machine, the volunteers have been working for many weeks to reconstruct the simple clothes of 19th century slaves in the United States.
It’s more than just sewing workshops, it is above all a militant commitment.

‘‘To think that slaves were not – did not just think of themselves as victims but saw that there was a way for them to take matters into their own hands and to march on, and to free not just themselves, but they wanted to end slavery, period. I think it’s a story that needs to be told.”, said Rosanne Archey-McGowan, a reenactor.

The two-day event, from November 8 and 9, was conceived by artist Dread Scott and documented by director John Akomfrah. For them, the reconstitution of the 1811 rebellion aims to put people in slavery back at the centre of American abolitionist history.

“Slave Rebellion reenactment is going to reenact the largest rebellion of enslaved people in the history of the United States. We’re gonna have five hundred people in period costume – or hundreds of people in period costume marching for twenty-six miles on the outskirts of New Orleans’‘, said performance artist, Dread Scott.

While the reconstruction promises to be joyful, the story of the revolt itself is dark. The event claimed two white victims while 98 insurgents were killed following the betrayal of one of the conspirators.


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