Memorial to Zong

Turner Prize winning artist Lubaina Himid’s intimate and emotional exhibition, Memorial to Zong, is at the Lancaster Maritime Museum until September 2021.

The Zong Massacre


The Zong was an overloaded slave ship which crossed the Atlantic in 1781. Due to a navigational error, the ship missed its destination in the Caribbean and had to spend an extra three weeks at sea. Drinking water was growing short and sickness had spread among the enslaved Africans and crew.

Approximately 131 enslaved people were thrown mercilessly overboard and drowned, so that the merchants could claim insurance money on the slaves as ‘lost cargo’.

The crew were tried in 1783, although the case was heard as an insurance dispute rather than a murder trial. The case came to symbolise the horrors of the Middle Passage and strengthened the voice and force behind the campaign to abolish slavery.

Turner Prize Winner, Professor Lubaina Himid’s exhibition is a powerful re-interpretation of the history and brutality of the slave trade and remembers the Zong Massacre.



Click here to view the Memorial to Zong virtual exhibition

You can purchase a copy of the Exhibition Catalogue by contacting

Catalogues are £10 plus £2 postage

Lancaster Royal Grammar School

Pupils and teachers at Lancaster Royal Grammar School have been researching Lancaster’s shipbuilding industry and links to the Transatlantic slave trade. See some of their videos here –

Exhibition Installation

Here, you can watch Memorial to Zong being installed at the Maritime Museum. Our doors may be closed for now, but enjoy watching the installation process.

A Digital Encounter with Lubaina Himid

This intimate exhibition at the Maritime Museum features the extraordinary and emotional work of Turner Prize winning artist Lubaina Himid. This video was released during Black History Month 2020, as part of the museum’s Digital Encounters Series and features Professor Alan Rice, curator of the exhibition and member of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR)


Additional Resources

Additional resources relating to Zong and the slave trade

Biographies of individuals involved in the Zong

To find out more about the work of Lubaina Himid, visit her website.


Lancaster City Museums would like to express our sincere thanks to those who have made this extraordinary virtual exhibition happen. 

Professor Lubaina Himid CBE
Turner Prize-wining Artist
Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire.

Professor Alan Rice
Professor in English and American Studies
Director of UCLan Research Centre in Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX)
Member of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR)
School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Anita Rupprecht
Principal Lecturer, School of Humanities, Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories, University of Brighton

Dr Ella S Mills
Associate Lecturer
School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business), University of Plymouth

Dr Sunita Abraham
Honorary Researcher, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University

Professor Lisa Merrill
Professor of Communication and Performance Studies, Hofstra University, New York

Andrea Sillis
Visiting Fellow, Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR)
University of Central Lancashire

Geraldine Onek
Chair of the Lancaster Black History Group

Nate Onek

Alice O’Toole

Studying for an MA in International and Military History

Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupils:

Clement Mok, Harris Wood, Josh Grigg, Filip Stuchlik, Travis Taylor, Isla Thomlinson

HollyBush Gardens

The Gallery representing Lubaina Himid, London

To find out more, please head on over to the Lancaster Maritime Museum’s Facebook page and the Lancaster City Museum Facebook page.


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