MEMORIALS THEMESThe Memorial is an artistic, political and urban project offering a multitude of interconnecting approaches which can combine history, history of art, citizenship, art, literature, languages, geography, philosophy, etc.  Consequently we suggest that you develop interdisciplinary projects which will offer students the opportunity to express themselves, individually or collectively.

Below are some examples of possible syllabus-linked themes:

The history of slave trading and slavery / The discovery of the world and the expansion of Europe / The beginnings of globalisation / The history of abolitions: the 1848 abolition, in France / Human rights: Freedom, Equality, slavery, racism, etc. / Contemporary slavery / The history of migrations and colonisation / Views of others / How can we define work?, etc.….

Here are some questions which can provide a main thread for your visit and help students to build their ideas and understand their feelings.

Why build a memorial to the abolition of slavery at Quai de la Fosse, Nantes?

For levels: Primary, cycle 3 (ages 8-11) /Secondary, ages 13-14

Understanding the Memorial and its link to the history of Nantes:

  • Historical reference point: The development of « triangular trade » in Nantes
  • The Memorial site, a symbolic location with a link to Nantes’ slave trading past: the Loire, the old quays, Quai de la Fosse, the Victor Schœœlcher footbridge, etc.
  • A memorial, why? To remember the past (slavery, resistance and struggle, abolitions) and build a message for the future (continue to fight contemporary slavery).
  • The concept and architecture of the Memorial and their symbolic meanings.

What does it mean to be a slave? Yesterday and today.

For levels: Primary, cycle 3 (ages 8-11)

Secondary, ages 12-14

Understand the notion of slavery and the fight against the proslavery ideology through various concepts:

  • The enslavement of Africans in the 18th century: capture, sale and deportation of slaves
  • The fight against slavery, resistance and revolts by slaves, the abolitionist fight in Europe: the example of the 1848 law
  • Contemporary slavery, forms of slavery in the world today. The fight against slavery: the role of International Organisations and states, the role of justice in upholding the law.
The fight for freedom and the abolition of slavery: a universal fight

For levels: Secondary, ages 13 to 14/Upper secondary, ages 15+

Understand the universal nature of the fight against slavery via the Memorial and its symbols.

  • Scale and duration of African slave trading and slavery.
  • Universal nature of the fight against slavery, slave resistance and revolts, a fight by all countries, history of abolitions.
  • The Memorial’s symbolic form, a universal expression: when voices, from all countries and throughout time rise up against slavery.
Art and memory

For levels: Upper secondary 15+

Understand the part played by art in collective memory.

  • The Memorial’s symbolic form: the artist’s views: artistic and architectural concepts and choices
  • Art and memory: art to serve collective memory
Memory and History

For levels: Upper secondary, ages 17-18

Understand the nature of a memorial site and reflect on the question of our duty to remember.

  • The Memorial to the abolition of slavery: our duty to remember; memory of of the slave trade and slavery in Nantes and on a national level.
  • Memory and History: What are the links? What are the contrasts?