Memorial to the victims of slavery: artists can submit their applications

The Tuileries Garden in Paris

Erecting a memorial to the victims of slavery in Paris was the wish expressed by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the signing of the decree abolishing slavery in the French colonies. Call for artistic participation was launched on Friday 5 June last.

Jardin des Tuileries 2

The Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, and the Minister for Overseas Territories, Annick Girardin, announced this Friday, June 5 the publication of a call for applications for the design, production and installation of an artwork in tribute to the victims of slavery.

It will be recalled that on May 10, 2019, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, renewed the commitment he made on April 27, 2018, on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the signing of the decree abolishing slavery in the French colonies, to have a memorial erected in Paris in the Tuileries Garden paying tribute to the victims of slavery.

“This project expresses the desire to honour the victims of slavery and recognize their invaluable contribution to the Nation. The memorial is intended to be a place of remembrance and transmission with a strong educational dimension, in close cooperation with the associations and foundations involved”, said the press release issued by the two French ministries.

The chosen location in the Tuileries Garden to house this future work is full of history. Indeed, it is a plot of land along the Jeu de Paume, between the former royal and imperial residence of the Tuileries and the Hôtel de la Marine. “The Memorial will thus take place in these emblematic places where the National Convention voted for the first abolition in 1794 and where the abolition of 1848 was prepared”, the two ministers stated.

At their instigation, a committee with so-called “qualified” persons not only in the field of the memory of slavery and its abolition but also in the field of contemporary art and conservation of historical monuments will carry out all the operations and the Louvre Museum will be in charge of the delegated project contracting.

Artists or artists’ collectives working in the visual arts can submit applications for the Memorial in honour of the victims of slavery. The deadline is September 1, 2020, and the steering committee will pre-select between 3 and 5 artists. The chosen artist will be known in the first half of 2021 and must complete his or her work in fall of 2021. The work, owned by the State, will join the inventory of the National Fund of Contemporary Art managed by the Centre national des arts plastiques (National Centre for Visual Arts).

This acceleration in this file is certainly linked to the launch of the public order plan to help artists to face this health crisis caused by Covid-19 announced by the President of the Republic during his videoconference with the cultural world on 6 May last.

Call for online applications :