top of page

Transmit history, create cultural projects and promote fair relations between the 3 continents, Africa, Americas and Europe.


Born in 1991 in Nantes during the preparation of the exhibition "Les Anneaux de la Mémoire", the association is based on the promotion of historical knowledge, cultural diversity, the opening to the world and the work on memories, more particularly on the memories linked to slavery and the Western slave trade. In the perspective of promoting balanced and reciprocal exchanges between the societies of Africa, America and Europe, it carries out cultural projects at the international level, in collaboration with local organizations.

1992 - « The Anneaux de la Mémoire exhibit », the first international exhibition of the history of the triangular trade and slavery.

Les Anneaux de la Mémoire

The association was born in Nantes in 1991. Its first projects focused on the city of Nantes, the first French trading port in the 18th century, and its region. In 1992, the association organized the exhibition "The Anneaux de la Mémoire", whose name it kept. This exhibition presented at the castle of the Dukes of Brittany was a great success, with more than 400 000 visitors.

This exhibition marked an essential turning point in the work of memory carried out in Nantes and at an international level. Even today, this exhibition remains the reference in the work of remembrance and promotion of history. It played an important role in the recognition in France and in the world of the history of the trade of enslaved peoples and slavery.

What’s the meaning behind our name?

The Anneaux de la Mémoire (the Shackles of Memory) symbolizes the instruments used to restrain captives on ships and slaves on plantations, but also the historical chain that links populations across time and continents, and finally the alliances and exchanges of peoples in mutual respect and understanding.

2022 - 2024 : 30 ans de l'exposition « les anneaux de la mémoire » 

Retrouvez des témoignages, des vidéos et images d'archives ici

extrait DVD expo Anneaux 92

extrait DVD expo Anneaux 92

Play Video

Video extract 1992, The Rings of Memory

International projects and strong relations between Europe, Africa and America

The Anneaux de la Mémoire association work with different audiences and in different ways (publications, conferences, exhibitions, artistic and cultural projects, etc.) to promote cultural mediation around the dissemination of historical knowledge.

Since its foundation, the association has been working at the local and international level with numerous partners, countries and territories. Through exhibition projects, cultural actions, and publications, the association is spreading in many countries.


The association Les Anneaux de la Mémoire is a member of the scientific committee of the UNESCO program "The Route of Enslaved Peoples". The association has been in charge of the coordination of the network "Slavery, museums and exhibitions", and in particular of the scientific research program, within the framework of the project "The Route of Enslaved Peoples". The association participated in international meetings in Ouidah (Benin) in 1993, Havana (Cuba), Luanda (Angola), Nantes (France), Palermo (Italy) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 2000. At the heart of the historical work on the French colonial slave trade and slavery, the former island of Santo Domingo holds a special place. Today, the association has forged many links with the Republic of Haiti, the first Black Republic, born of the revolt of enslaved peoples against their masters in the wake of the French Revolution. Since 2004, the association has been working with the Haitian Ministry of Culture and various cultural institutions, including the Museum of the Haitian National Pantheon (MUPANAH), on the elaboration of a cultural development program (training in the preservation and conservation of old documents, transfer of know-how, exchange of exhibitions, partnership on archives...).

The International Alliance of the Anneaux de la Mémoire, an international network of cities around the history of the Atlantic trade of enslaved peoples.

In 2005, the association proposed to Antananarivo (Madagascar) the creation of an international network of cities historically involved in the trade of enslaved peoples. The creation of the International Alliance of the Anneaux de la Mémoire (AIAM) took place in 2006. The association, represented by its president Yvon Chotard, provides the secretariat. The Alliance met in Nantes (France) in 2006 and in Limbé (Cameroon) in 2008 and 2009.

Composed of a group of actors from the three continents interested in the history of the slave trade and slavery (Europe, Africa, America), this network aims to share knowledge on these themes, to work together to deepen the study of this common past and to implement concrete projects of development and cultural mediation (exhibitions, museums, symposiums, publications).

Alliance internationale Anneaux Mémoire

2008 - General Assembly of the Rings of Memory Alliance - Nantes

The Alliance is structured in 3 colleges: local authorities / cultural institutions / citizens. The network is structured around four poles: Nantes for Europe; Haiti for the Caribbean; Cameroon for Africa; South Africa, particularly the city of Durban, for the Indian Ocean. The Alliance will end in 2012 but the association remains in contact with the majority of the network's actors

Local and international projects: mixing arts, history, heritage and legacies

The association pursues its projects on a local and international level. Its actions integrate more and more an artistic dimension in dialogue with historical narratives. This was the case of the international project « Mémoires Libérées » from 2015 to 2018 or, more recently, the exhibition « Women and Slavery » in Ouidah, Benin and the European project « MANIFEST ». The link with the territory remains an essential pillar of the association's action with the participation in the Month of Remembrance coordinated by the City of Nantes or actions in the Pays de la Loire Region, notably through projects stamped « Loire des Lumières » and which highlight the heritage and history of our region in connection and resonance with the global and interconnected history of the transatlantic trade of enslaved people and colonial slavery.

The development of innovative projects in collaboration with artists, structures and various actors allows the history of the trade of enslaved peoples and slavery to be brought to life and to resonate in our contemporary societies and with a large public.

bottom of page