Les noms de la liberté (Names of Freedom) forms part of an exhibition exchange between Iziko Museums of South Africa, the Reunion Departmental Council (France), and the Villèle Historical Museum. This is the first exchange of exhibitions between two former colonies and Indian Ocean Slave Trade repositories. The exhibition explores the history of slavery and the questions of identity. ‘The Names of Freedom: 1660-1848: From slave to citizen’ opened at the Iziko Slave Lodge on Emancipation Day, 1 December 2023.
The exhibition focuses on how the enslaved were given their names just before and after emancipation, and what that means – even now – for their descendants who still have the names originally recorded in the historic registers. One of these registers will be brought from Reunion Island and forms part of the exhibition. A series of short films based on interviews with descendants of the enslaved reflecting on the history and heritage of slavery in Reunion will also be included.