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Trading for Culture

09 Oct 2007

FREE event at The Whitworth Gallery on Saturday 27 October, 2-3.30pm

A stimulating debate around trade and culture during the 18th and 19th century and beyond. Chaired by SuAndi with fellow guest curators of the Whitworth's Trade and Empire exhibition - Kevin Dalton-Johnson, Emma Poulter and Dr Alan Rice, this is an opportunity to discuss the impact of trade and empire.  

Slave-grown cotton is crucial to the story of the Industrial Revolution and to the wealth that built Manchester during the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Every ounce of cotton had to be imported into Britain from overseas plantations, many of which used slave labour. An estimated 12 million Africans were forcefully transported across the Atlantic into slavery. 

In Manchester, the rise of the cotton industry meant that the population of the city spiralled; multiplying from 17,000 to 180,000 people between 1760 and 1830. Living and working conditions were crowded, dirty and dangerous. Whilst some grew very rich through cotton, it caused great deprivation and hardship for many more.

Cotton was crucial to the rise of industrial Manchester but at what cost?

This free event is part of Trade and Empire: Remembering Slavery, an exhibition running until 27 April 2008, part of Revealing Histories, a year-long series of events across eight Greater Manchester museums and galleries to commemorate the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade. There is no need to book a place - simply turn up on the day.