Title: Slave in Revolt
Artist: Karl Broodhagen (1909-2002)
Creation Date: c. 1970
Origin: Barbados, Caribbean
This bronze statue, created by Barbadian artist Karl Broodhagen, depicts historical figure Bussa, who led the largest slave revolt in Barbados’ history in April 1834. Bussa led a rebellion of over five thousand people, four hundred of which actively participated in battle, which he would unfortunately not survive. However, he is still heralded as a deeply influential figure in the abolition of slavery in Barbados in 1834.
This month, we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when we made an official claim to land that was not ours to take. Since then, America has built itself on the graves of Indigenous peoples and the backs of African slaves. This Fourth of July, as fireworks glitter over the art museum and shine down on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, may we not only remember the beginning of a revolution, but those in this country still fighting for the liberties it promised.
Guest curator: Bella Bach, art history '24