Fred Moten & M. NourbeSe Philip

A story that cannot be told, yet must be told. Zong! and its context

A conversation between Philip and Moten: how do we read NourbeSe’s anti-narrative poetic lament in Glasgow today, given the city’s role in the history of slavery?

In November 1781, the captain of the slave ship Zong, sailing from Liverpool, ordered that some 150 Africans be murdered by drowning, so that the ship's owners could collect insurance monies. Equal parts song, moan, shout, oath, ululation, curse, and chant, NourbeSe’s anti-narrative poetic lament "Zong!" tells this story that cannot be told, yet must be told. How, given the city’s role in the history of slavery, might we read this poem in Glasgow today?

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