Debate: Should we apologise for the past?

The Bristol Festival of Ideas is holding the following debate:
10 MAY: 7pm Debate: Should we apologise for the past?
(Venue: British Empire and Commonwealth Museum)

The decision of the General Synod of the Church of England to apologise for its role in the slave trade, and Tony Blair’s apology to the Irish people, have opened up again the question of whether we should apologise for the past. Do such apologies work? Are they meaningful? Do they go far enough? Should Bristol apologise for its role in the slave trade? As the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade approaches, leading historians, writers, broadcasters and artistic leaders debate this critical moral, ethical and political issue.

Chaired by Christopher Hitchens,author most recently of a book on the ethics of bombing Germancities in the second world war, Dead Cities,
Ekow Eshun, author of Black Gold of the Sun, which charted his search for his roots in Africa
Isabel Hilton, director of the Royal African Society
Richard Dowden,
Professor Deepak Lal,
Professor Stephen Howe,
Dr Mike Phillips,
Toyin Agbetu (Ligali Organisation)
& Professor Hugh Thomas.
(For an imagined apology click here; and for Jay Rayner's reflections on his protagonist's imaginary apology click here) Please comment below.


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