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Front of the Capitol/St. Charles Hotel and hotel slave pens. DC Public Library, The People's Archive, Historic Image Collection

Procession: Enslaved Washington

  • Saturday, May 14, 2022
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • West Building 4th Street Entrance

Registration is required.

Ed Ingebretsen, professor emeritus, departments of English, American Studies, Georgetown University; professor of philosophy, University of Maryland, College Park

Join us in an outdoor procession to four historical sites of enslavement on or near the National Gallery campus. Professor Ed Ingebretsen talks about the city’s relationship to slavery as we move from 3rd to 7th Streets NW. The four stops include the Capitol to discuss enslavement and the law; the former locations of Center Market, Gadsby’s Tavern, and the notorious slaver hotel, the St. Charles, to learn what DC residents knew of slavery at the time; the sites on the National Mall of slave pens run by Birch, Gadsby, Neal, Robey, and Williams; and Lafayette Park to examine the participation of presidents in enslavement.

The procession concludes in the Sculpture Garden at Kara Walker’s The Katastwóf Karavan (2018), a satellite installation of Afro-Atlantic Histories. Walker created the caravan with her signature silhouette imagery as a way to point out the inadequacy of memorials to former sites of enslavement. The work incorporates a steam calliope, a musical instrument played on steamboats and in carnivals in the 19th century.

At 2:00 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden, Kara Walker and jazz pianist Jason Moran discuss their collaborative activation of the calliope. Moran plays the calliope live in a special performance at 3:30 p.m.

The Walker and Moran discussion is part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture series.

Thursday, May 12 – Thursday, May 19
Kara Walker's The Katastwóf Karavan

The Sculpture Garden will be a site for a temporary installation of Kara Walker's The Katastwóf Karavan, a work incorporating a steam calliope, a musical instrument used in the 19th century on steamboats and in carnivals.

A playlist will be played at regular intervals during the installation. Additionally, Jason Moran will perform the calliope live on May 14 from 3:30–4:00 p.m. and May 15 from 2:00–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 14, 2:00 p.m.
Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series

Jason Moran and Kara Walker discuss Walker’s The Katastwóf Karavan. Jason Moran will perform the calliope live on May 14 from 3:30–4:00 p.m. and May 15 from 2:00–2:30 p.m. Additionally, a playlist will play daily May 12–18 from 11:00 a.m.–noon and 2:00–3:00 p.m. except for on May 14, when it will play a second time from 4:00–5:00 p.m., and on May 15, when it will play only from 1:30–2:00 p.m.