The short film 1745 An Untold Story of Slavery had its first screening last week in Edinburgh for cast, crew and supporters, and soon they are off to Cannes. The film highlights a forgotten part of Scotland’s history: while Scotland was fighting for its national freedom in that fateful year, its economy was in large part founded on the booming colonial slave trade. While the majority of slavery happened elsewhere – off-stage, across the Atlantic – there were African slaves here, kept as trophies and pets in the houses of their rich merchant masters. 1745 was inspired by advertisements that writer, Morayo Akandé, discovered for runaway slaves, placed in Scottish newspapers of the time.
For more on the historical background on runaway slaves in Britain – it’s well worth checking out the University of Glasgow/Leverhulme Trust’s project page for Runaway Slaves in Britain: Bondage, Freedom and Race in the Eighteenth Century. The project is ongoing and you can follow progress via their blog here.