Freedomville: A 21st Century Slave Revolt & the Realities of Contemporary Forced Labor
About the Event:
A celebrated, modern-day revolution brought freedom to a group of enslaved people. Or did it? The realities of contemporary slavery in India & around the world . . .
Millions of people around the world today are enslaved – nearly eight million of them live in India, more than anywhere else. In 2000, enslaved villagers in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh founded their own town of Azad Nagar – ‘Freedomville’—after staging a rebellion against their slaveholders. International organizations championed this as a nonviolent “silent revolution” that inspired other villagers to fight for their own freedom.
But Laura T. Murphy, a leading scholar of contemporary global slavery, found that whispers and deflections suggested something troubling about Azad Nagar’s success – a complex, constantly changing narrative of a murder that captures better than any sanitized account why slavery continues to exist in the twenty-first century.
Murphy will also address the harsh realities of modern-day slavery, not just on every continent, but even in the U.S. She argues that a global construction boom is deepening and broadening the alienation of impoverished people around the world – and in some countries, it may be unrealistic to expect radical change without violent protest.
About the Speaker:
Laura T. Murphy is Professor of Human Rights and Contemporary Slavery at the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. She is also the Director of the Modern Day Slavery Project. Murphy is the author of ‘The New Slave Narrative: The Battle Over Representations of Contemporary Slavery‘, ‘Survivors of Slavery: Modern-Day Slave Narratives‘, and ‘Metaphor and the Slave Trade in Western African Literature‘. Her work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, and the National Humanities Center.