Freedom Festival’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Mikey Martins is part of a delegation from Hull which is in Freetown, Sierra Leone this week (22nd-29th January), exploring future partnerships between the twin cities.
During the visit, Mikey is meeting with contacts in Freetown to discuss possibilities of joint cultural projects. Also on the trip are representatives from Hull’s cultural, civic and educational sectors, including Deputy Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Daren Hale; Chief Executive of Hull 2017, Martin Green; Chair of the Freetown Society, Kathleen Guthrie and the Director of Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) at the University of Hull, Professor John Oldfield.
About Hull and Freetown: Hull and Freetown’s civic partnership was established in 1979 and originates from William Wilberforce; after Wilberforce led the abolition of slavery in the eighteenth century, Freetown was built as ’The Province of freedom’ – a British colony for the re-settlement of freed slaves. A large suburb of Freetown, on one of the city’s highest peaks, is named after Wilberforce.
Ahead of the visit, Mikey said: “I’m honoured and excited to be visiting a city with such an important history and relationship with Hull. There is enormous potential for some fantastic collaborations that really underline the meaning of freedom and tell the story of Freetown and the impact of Wilberforce’s work; it’s a real privilege to be part of this trip.”
Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017 said: “Hull’s close links with Freetown are part of the story that we want to share with the world in 2017. I hope [this visit] will be the first step to creating something very special that will strengthen the ties between both cities, leaving a legacy well beyond 2017.”
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