Black Cultural Archive former director, Paul Reid, has been appointed interim Head of International Slavery Museum (ISM). Taking over from Dr Richard Benjamin who is on a two-year secondment to University of Liverpool, ISM is delighted to have Paul on board during what is an incredibly exciting and pivotal moment for the museum.
For more than ten years, Paul was the director of Black Cultural Archives before stepping down in 2019. He was instrumental in bringing the history and heritage of African and Caribbean people in Britain into a reality and has since set up an arts agency Disrupt Space which represents Black visual artists. Devoted to community development with an emphasis on youth and Black communities, Paul is a staunch champion of community-led regeneration, equality, justice and how the arts play a role in them.
“I am thrilled to be appointed as interim Head of the International Slavery Museum. It is an institution that I have always held in the very highest regard and ISM’s community and social justice centred mission dovetails with my own commitments to creating moments and platforms that foster engagement, discussion and emphasise a deep connection to audiences.
Whether related to my rites of passage work with young people and their families or seeking inspiration for a capital project, the museum has always been an important reference point for me. I am looking forward to my new role in helping to drive the museum ascend to even greater heights.”
The International Slavery Museum is the only national museum to focus on the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies. A campaigning museum that actively engages with contemporary human rights issues, ISM is about to enter its most exciting and challenging chapter yet, undergoing a huge redevelopment with thanks to a £9.9m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Plans involve creating a new entrance via the Dr Martin Luther King Jnr building and extending existing collections and galleries.
The revamped International Slavery Museum is part of the wider National Museums Liverpool 10-year Waterfront Transformation Project.