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Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty and the Sea

entwined

Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea

On Exhibit April 20, 2024, through April 19, 2026

Stillman Building

Curated by Akeia de Barros Gomes

Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea is a new major exhibition centering maritime histories in Indigenous, African, and African-descended worldviews and experiences. Unraveling the threads of existing maritime narratives for the history of the Dawnland (New England), Indigenous dispossession, and racialized slavery, this exhibition is rooted in voices and histories that have been silent or silenced. 

Kuhtah and Kalunga are the Pequot and Bantu words for the Atlantic Ocean. Kuhtah/Kalunga and its tributaries—with its cycles of ebb and flow, push and pull, and trauma and healing—forever connect the histories, cultures, peoples, and legacies of ancestral African societies and kingdoms to the Sovereign Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island, or North America. Like waterways, contact between Africans and the Indigenous Nations of the Dawnland attests to the power of African and Indigenous ancestors, the circularity of time, and fundamental cycles of death and rebirth. 

Entwined explores the enduring legacies, strength, and resilience of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and African-descended peoples of the Dawnland. Foregrounding ancestral and descendant voices, Entwined re-weaves a narrative of African and Indigenous maritime cultures whose histories are forever interwoven in the stories of freedom, sovereignty, and the sea.

Acknowledgments 

Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea is generously funded by the Just Futures Initiative of the Mellon Foundation as part of the Reimagining New England Histories project. 

Mystic Seaport Museum also gratefully acknowledges our project partners, Brown University and Williams College, our community advisors whose collective voices, knowledge, creativity, and wisdom are foregrounded in this exhibition, and the artists whose pieces are on display in the exhibition: Alison Wells, Felandus Thames, Nafis M. White, Christian Gonçalves, Elizabeth James Perry, Robin Spears, Sierra Henries, and Sherenté Harris.

A special thanks to the exhibition committee members.

2021-2022 

Richard “Soaring Bear ” Cowes, Brad Lopes, Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed, Heather Bruegl, Jason Mancini, Leah Hopkins, Lorén Spears, Cheryll Holley, Nikki Turpin, Debbie Khadroui 

2022-2023 

Brad Lopes, Lorén Spears, Pilar Jefferson, Cheryll Holley, Leah Hopkins, Jason Mancini, Penny Gamble-Williams, Doreen Wade, Anika Lopes 

Exhibit design and fabrication by SmokeSygnals.

Voyage to the Deep: Underwater Adventures

VOYAGE TO THE DEEP

Voyage to the Deep – Underwater Adventures

Exhibition on June 8, 2024, through September 2, 2024

Collins Gallery, Thompson Exhibition Building

Based on French author Jules Verne’s 1870 classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, this exhibition brings to life the adventures of Captain Nemo, his fantastical submarine Nautilus, and the mythical world he inhabited.

At the center of this fantasy world is the giant Nautilus where visitors can climb aboard and discover the inner workings of a deep-sea vessel. Take up the controls at the helm, look through periscopes, crank the propeller, test out the bunks, and explore Captain Nemo’s Cabinet of Curiosities, full of incredible marine specimens.

The highly interactive experience explores marine habitats and creatures, diving equipment, and maritime archaeology, delivering immersive experiences for children and engaging content for adults. Visitors will encounter a variety of activities ranging from full-body activities like slides and climbing structures to simple tabletop games.

Voyage to the Deep Underwater Adventures is an unforgettable experience that combines science education, exploration, and entertainment. It’s a unique opportunity for families, students, and anyone seeking adventure to dive into the wonders of the deep sea and celebrate the enduring legacy of Jules Verne’s literary masterpiece.

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