"It felt like a really important thing for the community to do. I would have been sorry if it had happened and I'd not been a part of it"

I co-created 'A Thousand Ships' as a public art display in Providence, Rhode Island, to highlight the state's history with the slave trade.

A Thousand Ships
The event, which was attended by around 30,000 people, featured 1,000 people pouring a libation in a prominent downtown site, actors scattered throughout the crowds performing documents from local slave trade history, as well as rituals of fire, water, dance and music to mark the bicentennial of the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade.

We then held a public seminar after the event, featuring various members of the Providence African American community, to discuss the impact of what we had created. We based the entire event on the research of the Slavery and Justice Committee at Brown University.
I co-conceived of A Thousand Ships, and worked on all aspects including directing volunteers, writing texts, and collaborating with actors.

Working with designer Jason Tranchida, I co-edited a beautiful book filled with historical information and moving descriptions. We received a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities to distribute the book in local libraries and schools.

Read an article about A Thousand Ships in the Boston Globe
Co-created with Lyra Monteiro, Barnaby Evans
Photography by Gordon Stillman