The survey has uncovered small collections that often dip below the radar because they are held by organisations other than museums and archives and Anti-Slavery International is a good example of one of these. Founded in 1839, it is one of the world’s oldest international human rights organisations and has a significant collection of magic lantern slides dating from the early twentieth century. These were used by the Congo Reform Association in their campaign to raise awareness about the abuses taking place in the Belgian Congo, revealing valuable context as to how this aspect of our screen heritage was utilised to inform and persuade as well as entertain.
“Two youths from the Equator District. the hands of Mola, seated, have been destroyed by gangrene after being tied too tightly by soldiers. The right hand of Yoka standing was cut off by soldiers wanting to claim him as killed.” Circa 1904 Alice Harris / Anti-Slavery International.