Finland is one of the Member States of the United Nations that is supporting the erection of a permanent memorial to remind the world of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade, and the legacy of slavery. The Caribbean Community and the African Union are the primary movers in this project.
There will be a competition among the artists of the world to submit designs for the memorial, which will be put up in a prominent place at UN Headquarters in New York. The deadline for submitting proposals is 19 December 2011. The winning design will be given a prize of US $50 000, in addition to the honor of being put in place at the UN.
The winning design will be inherently egalitarian, expressing the cross-cultural and global impact of the slave trade, while honoring those who have died and those who have shared their struggle. Designs are being sought from artists all over the globe. Interested candidates should submit their proposals to the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Entries can also be submitted by e-mail. Artist guidelines and rules, as well as application forms, are also available at this site.
The main purpose of the competition is to help people throughout the world to understand better what slavery and the slave trade were, and to make them aware of the consequences of the slave trade. This is the International Year of People of African Descent, and the Slavery Memorial will honor them and their ancestors. The Memorial will also be a part of the work against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.
Finland is proud to support the commemoration of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade with a permanent memorial. Finland’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen, presented an oversize check for $25 000 to the Permanent Memorial Committee at an event organized by the Permanent Mission of Jamaica last Spring. That brought Finland’s contribution toward the Slavery Memorial to $50 000.