Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Slave Rebellion Reenactment?
A: The Slave Rebellion Reenactment (SSR) is a large-scale, community-engaged art performance and film project reimagining the largest rebellion of enslaved people in the United States.
Q: Where is it taking place? When?
A: SRR is taking place outside of New Orleans along the River Parishes in Louisiana. This 26-mile roving performance will travel from LaPlace to Kenner, LA, retracing the route of the historic 1811 German Coast Uprising, and concluding in New Orleans, LA at Congo Square.
The Reenactment is Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, 2019.
Q: What was the German Coast Uprising? How is it related to the 1811 Slave Revolt?
A: The German Coast Uprising and the 1811 Slave Revolt refer to the same event. From January 8–10, 1811, the largest slave revolt in the United States erupted in the German Coast of Louisiana (called so because of the origins of the German settlers of the area in the 1720s) at the Manuel Andry Plantation. The slave insurrection occurred on the east bank of the Mississippi River in what is now St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Orleans Parishes, and was led by Charles Deslondes, Gilbert, Quamana, Jeesamine, and Maria Rose, and others. The revolters were African, American, and Haitian-born; Creole, Congo, and Akan identified; French and Engish-speaking; and represented many religious and spiritual beliefs- but all united as they risked death to be free. The insurgents fought not just for their emancipation, but to end the institution of slavery itself.
Q: Why is the Reenactment ending in New Orleans?
A: Although the revolt started on Manuel Andry Plantation in St. John the Baptist Parish, the goal of the insurgents was ‘On to New Orleans’ to overthrow the institution of slavery and set up a new republic. The Reenactment will conclude in New Orleans with a procession from the Old U.S. Mint to Congo Square–a location instrumental for preserving African culture in the United States.
Q: How much is it to attend?
A: The Reenactment is free and open to the public.
Q: Who is Dread Scott?
A: Dread Scott is a New York-based visual and performance artist, who ‘makes revolutionary art to propel history forward.’ Dread received national attention in 1989 when his art became the center of a controversy over its transgressive use of the American flag while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited and performed at the Whitney Museum, MoMA/PS1, The Walker Art Center, and galleries and street corners across the country. Slave Rebellion Reenactment was conceived and initiated by Dread and is the most ambitious project he has ever undertaken.
SRR builds on Dread Scott’s performance, Dread Scott: Decision (2012) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Where Dread Scott: Decision looked at American democracy’s foundation in slavery, SRR shifts focus from the roots of America to the strivings of people fighting to be free of those roots. This artwork is inspired by the countless work of activists and historians who challenged the erasure of this important history and artists who create performance and speculative work that reimagine resistance movements. So, on November 8-9, 2019, hundreds of re-enactors will retract the path of the largest slave rebellion in the United States history, embodying a story of resistance, freedom and revolutionary action.
To learn more about Dread’s practice and work, visit his website here.
Q: What is Antenna’s role in the Reenactment?
Q. Who is funding this artwork?
A. Funding for this artwork has been provided by Open Society Foundation, VIA Art Fund, Ford Foundation, Surdna Foundation, MAP Fund, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Nathan Cummings Foundation, A Blade of Grass, Art Matters, Givens Foundation for African American Literature, Andrew Porter, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Smack Mellon, Paige West, Cordy, Ethan, & William Ryman, Susan & Ralph Brennan, Manon Slome, Glenn F. Scotland, Mary Katherine Ford, and an incredible group of 500+ other individuals.
Q: How can I participate in or support the Reenactment?
A: There are many ways you can participate in and support Slave Rebellion Reenactment.
Participate: If you are 18 and older, and identify as Black or of African descent, you are welcome to join as a reenactor. Reenactors must feel confident they can walk 26 miles over two days.
Volunteer: Anyone can get involved to support the project. If you are unable to participate in the march, you can still be a crucial part of the reenactment helping in other ways.
You can support SRR by volunteering your time to assist with outreach, costume creation, stage management, onsite logistics, and event support, or by donating the necessary production equipment and costume supplies to name a few.
Lastly, you can support the Reenactment by making a charitable donation online, click here. Or by mailing a check to Antenna with SRR in the memo line. Checks should be sent to:
Slave Rebellion Reenactment
3718 St. Claude Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117
Q: Reenactors will walk for two days? Will the walk be safe?
A: Yes. The Slave Rebellion Reenactment is a roving performance and film project, where hundreds of reenactors, including lead artist Dread Scott, will walk for two days, covering a 26-mile stretch along Louisiana’s historic River Road. This area was once lined with over 350 slave labor camps—euphemistically referred to as plantations—ranging from simple farmhouses to grand mansions before the American Civil War. The exurban communities and oil and gas industries that have replaced theses cotton, sugar cane, and rice plantations will be the backdrop of the procession.
Starting in St. John the Baptist Parish, the first day of the reenactment performance will cover 13 miles, walking approximately 4 to 6 hours (including lunch and breaks). On the second day, reenactors will walk another 13 miles to, Jefferson Parish and then board buses to New Orleans to conclude the procession from the U. S. Mint to Congo Square in Armstrong Park.
There was limited fighting during the 1811 rebellion, so, in contrast to many war reenactments, much of SRR will be a procession, with only occasional skirmishes.
The SRR team is securing the necessary permits for the performance from various Parish administrations, boards, and departments. The SRR team has prepared a detailed risk assessment and safety plan for the event. Medical provision, security services, and a communication chain of command in the event of any incidents have been developed. All participants and staff will be briefed on how to interact with the public. The event will be supported by professional security and H&S advisory team, with assistance from local Police Departments.
Q: Can I observe the art performance on the ground in Louisiana if I am not participating as a reenactor?
A: Yes. The Reenactment is free and open to the public. There will be designated watching areas on the route. The public is invited to join the concluding procession in New Orleans from The Old U.S. Mint to Congo Square, and reimagine the achievements of the insurgents with a celebration inside Congo Square on Saturday, November 9, 2019. More detailed timing will be posted on our site shortly before the performance.
Q: Who can participate as a Reenactor?
A: To participate as a reenactor, you must be 18 and older, identity as Black or of African and/ or Indigenous descent, and feel confident you can walk 26 miles over two days. Please contact us here if you are interested in joining: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I’m not Black or a person of African Descent. Can I still support the Reenactment?
A: Yes. You can support the Reenactment by making a financial contribution; attending a sewing circle to help make costumes; helping to spread the word; volunteering to help with stage management, logistics, medical, walking practices, outreach, production running; hosting events; space sharing; and/or inviting Dread Scott and members of the SRR team to speak to your class, organization, or at an event your hosting. To learn more visit SRR at slave-revolt.com or send an email here.
Q. Were local Louisiana residents consulted on this project?
A. Yes. This is a community-engaged art performance. An extensive community consultation process has been undertaken to build awareness and support of this project over the years working closely with local historians, art, advocacy, activist and other community groups. The artists also traveled to local schools and universities to talk about SRR with young people. Most reenactors are residents of Louisiana. This project would not be possible without them.
Q: I’m interested in my students learning more about the 1811 Slave Revolt. Can someone from the Project come to speak to my class?
Q. I am a member of the media. Who can I talk with about this project for a story?
A. Thank you for your interest in covering this artwork. Please contact SRR’s media team here and a team member will be in touch as soon as possible.
Q: How do I donate to support the Slave Rebellion Reenactment?
A: Thank you for your interest in giving to the Slave Rebellion Reenactment. Donations can be made online by clicking here or mailing a check to Antenna with SRR in the memo line. Check should be sent to:
c/o Bob Snead
3718 St. Claude Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117
Be part of the Rebellion
Upcoming Sewing Circles
Join these social skill shares and help produce costumes for the reenactment.