Emancipation Website & Art Exhibition Launch

July 22, 2022 | 1 Comment

Earlier this week, the Department of Culture unveiled an exhibition entitled ‘Pioneers Who Persevered: Black Nurses in Segregated Bermuda,’ which is currently on display at the Bermuda Society of Arts.

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“The exhibition is partially virtual and links to a new Emancipation website developed by the Department, which chronicles key milestones in Bermuda’s history,” a spokesperson said.

“The new site, emancipationbermuda.com, allows individuals to scan QR codes on the art installations. This in turn opens the website so that the viewer can read in real time about major moments in Bermuda’s history. In particular, the site details the employment barriers faced by Black Bermudian nurses and their contribution to the health care system during the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition is free and concludes on August 12.

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“The website launch and exhibition follows the recent film premiere of Healthcare Heroines, a documentary about Black Bermudian nurses and the key role played by the Cottage Hospital Nursing Home as a nursing school and place of employment.

“As a public reminder, the theme of this month’s Emancipation commemoration is ‘Restoring Community: Healing Together’ and the Department advised that there are still a number events taking place as part of the Emancipation observances. For more information about this month’s activities, email culture@gov.bm.”

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Junior Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport Senator Arianna Hodgson’s remarks:

Good evening,

On behalf of the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr. Ernest Peets, I am pleased to join you for this special Emancipation event celebrating our Healthcare Heroines.

This evening’s film is part of our annual Emancipation observances, and examines the employment barriers faced by black Bermudian nurses and their contribution to the health care system during the first half of the 20th Century.

It also explores the key role played by the Cottage Hospital Nursing Home as a nursing school and place of employment.

Tonight we will hear how these nursing pioneers were sidelined from their profession because of the colour of their skin.

Healthcare Heroines only chronicles a few individual stories, but there were many former nurses whose interviews are not included in this film.

Thankfully their stories are part of the Department of Culture’s oral history collection.

Our hope is that you will be inspired by this evening’s film.

And we encourage you to learn more by attending the exhibition created by the Department of Culture at the Bermuda Society of Arts opening tomorrow evening until August 12th.

The exhibition allows you to scan a QR code which will allow you to explore 10 different stories about Bermuda’s black nurses.

This virtual exhibition also serves as a launch of the Department’s new website, www.emancipationbermuda.com. Encourage you to explore.

We also encourage you to attend an extension of this project, a Bermudian Heartbeats lecture on August 11 entitled “Cottage Hospital: Segregated Care in Bermuda”, featuring Cecille Simmons, Meredith Ebbin, and Heritage Officer with the Department of planning, Jessica Dill.

Lastly, I must thank and congratulate Meredith Ebbin, a veteran journalist and former nurse, who was the principal researcher for the project.

Assisting Meredith with the research were Randy Williams, who wrote CARE, the history of KEMH and Cottage Hospital Nursing Home, as well as Maryann Farkas.

And finally, thanks also to Andrew Kirkpatrick and Nhuri Bashir, the team at Burnt House Productions who filmed and edited this amazing documentary.

We appreciate you all being here tonight, please note, that there will be a Q&A session at the conclusion of the film.

Thank you.

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Category: All, Entertainment, History

Comments (1)

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  1. Well done says:

    Great idea. An inspiration. Thank you.

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