A Thousand Ships
A Ritual of Remembrance Marking the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
by Andrew Losowsky and Lyra Monteiro
On October 4, 2008, tens of thousands of people in Providence, Rhode Island, participated in a unique memorial to the victims of slavery. Co-created by The Museum On Site and Barnaby Evans, "A Thousand Ships: A Ritual of Remembrance Marking the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade" took place at WaterFire, an art installation that lights bonfires on the rivers in downtown Providence — the same rivers on which ships engaged in the slave trade, more than two centuries earlier.
This book presents images and documentation from A Thousand Ships, as well as reflections from participants and spectators.
**Any proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to fund free public experiences created by The Museum On Site, which help people understand their worlds.**
Foreword by James T. Campbell, Professor of United States History, Stanford University
Epilogue by Barnaby Evans, Creator of WaterFire
Methodology essay by Lyra Monteiro, Co-Director of The Museum On Site
Designed by Jason Tranchida
PLEASE NOTE: This is a revised edition of the book that was originally published in January 2012. Due to increased printing costs, the price of the book has also been raised.
The Museum On Site is dedicated to helping people understand their worlds through site-specific, free public experiences that share ideas and information in accessible and stimulating ways. Founded by Andrew Losowsky and Lyra Monteiro in 2008, The Museum On Site brings the techniques and approaches of museums — as well as theater, advertising, and other experience-based media — to places where people already are, including festivals, city streets, shopping malls and public transit. Our projects, which have so far addressed the history and legacy of Rhode Island’s transatlantic slave trade, and the past and present of a busy street in downtown Providence, encourage deeper emotional engagement with issues of local importance, through the use of performance, participatory ritual, and web-based information exchange. We are currently based in New York City, but are interested in collaborations and consulting opportunities throughout the United States and Internationally.