About this MIDEQ Share Out

The Antislavery Knowledge Network (AKN), a GCEF-funded Network+ project, aims to explore how the arts and humanities can address contemporary slavery by adopting a community-engaged, human rights-based focus within international development interventions. Linking together UK universities with academic and non-academic partners across West and Central Africa, AKN examines contemporary forms of enslavement, such as human trafficking and other severe forms of exploitation, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa.

This MIDEQ Share Out event will focus on AKN’s work to centre creative, arts-based approaches as a way to understand, critically engage with and tackle modern slavery. It will also explore the connections between modern slavery, trafficking and migration.

Date and time

Tuesday 30th March 2021 at 11:00 - 12:30 GMT.


After an introduction from MIDEQ Co-Director Professor Louis Herns Marcelin, MIDEQ Advisory Board member Professor Charles Forsdick, Dr Lennon Mhishi and Dr Wendy Asquith of the Antislavery Knowledge Network will introduce AKN and its work thus far.


  • Welcome - Professor Heaven Crawley, Coventry University, MIDEQ Director
  • Introduction to Share Out – Professor Louis Herns Marcelin, University of Miami, Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development (INURED), MIDEQ Co-Director
  • Overview of the Antislavery Knowledge Network - Professor Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool, Co-Chair, MIDEQ Advisory Board
  • Presentation of AKN and Centring Arts Based MethodologiesDr Lennon Mhishi, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Liverpool
  • Presentation – AKN’s upcoming exhibition and negotiating the ethics of visualising modern slavery - Dr Wendy Asquith, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Liverpool
  • Conversation on modern slavery, trafficking and migration – Professor Charles Forsdick, Dr Lennon Mhishi, Dr Wendy Asquith, University of Liverpool
  • Q&A - Open forum for questions and discussion with presenters, chaired by Professor Louis Herns Marcelin

Please note that at the request of the presenters, the Q&A session at this event was not recorded in order to ensure space for robust discussion. However you can stream the presentations by clicking the button below.

Our speakers

Professor Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. He is currently Arts and Humanities Research Council theme leadership fellow for ‘Translating Cultures’, a programme of over 120 projects focused on translation, interpreting and multilingualism. He has published on a range of subjects, including travel writing, colonial history, postcolonial and world literature, and the memorialization of slavery. Recent books include The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2016), Toussaint Louverture: Black Jacobin in an Age of Revolution (Pluto, 2017) and Keywords for Travel Writing Studies (Anthem Press, 2019). Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, 2010-13, he recently led an international project on '"Dark Tourism" in Comparative Perspective: Sites of Suffering, Sites of Memory' which included fieldwork in French Guiana, New Caledonia and Vietnam. He is currently CI on the AHRC GCRF network+, the Antislavery Knowledge Network and has worked with the AHRC and ESRC on questions of indigenous methods.

Dr Lennon Mhishi joined the University of Liverpool as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Politics department in December 2017, having completed his PhD in Anthropology at SOAS University of London. Prior to coming to Liverpool, Lennon has conducted ethnographic research in Harare, Johannesburg, and London. His doctoral work explored the migrant and diasporic experiences of music, identity and belonging amongst Zimbabweans in London, whilst foregrounding these experiences as part of the genealogy of African and black presence and expressive culture in Britain.

Dr Wendy Asquith is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool. She is a specialist in interdisciplinary research at the intersection of Visual Culture Studies, History and Politics with interests in the cultural histories of humanitarianism, international institutions, postcolonial nationhood and African diasporas. She was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Nottingham (2016-2020) for a project entitled The Spectacle of Universal Human Rights: A Century of Intergovernmental Display at World’s Fairs and an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Holder with Tate Liverpool (2010-2013) for the project Haiti in Art: Creating and Curating in the Black Atlantic. Her first monograph, entitled Exhibiting Haiti: The Art of Postcolonial Politics is forthcoming with the University of Virginia Press.


This is a free, public event: please share widely!

You can follow @MIDEQHub and @AKNetwork1 on Twitter. Join the conversation online using #MIDEQShareout. We look forward to seeing you there!