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Human trafficking and slavery by Viking explored in new TG4 docudrama
13 Sep 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Íospartaigh na Lochlannach to air on TG4.
A new European co-production Íospartaigh na Lochlannach, which exploring the previously unknown history of human trafficking and slavery by Vikings, will make its debut on TG4 this Wednesday, 14th September at 9:30pm.

Irish banner Abú Media and Insterpot Film  are co-producing the project on behalf of five  European broadcasters including TG4, ORF,(Austria), ZDF/ARTE, (Germany), SVT (Sweden), and Ceska televise (Czech Republic).

The Nordic seafarers were known as successful conquerors but to a lesser extent, as merciless slaveowners. Above all, the Vikings spread fear and anguish, taking whatever they could lay their hands on: land, treasure, and people with settlements in Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, and even Newfoundland, established the reputation of the Norse seafarers as explorers and conquerors.  

The fascinating life story of the Irish monk Findan in the 9th century serve as a starting point for this filmic journey into the early Middle Ages. At its height, the Viking slave trade stretched from the western edges of Europe to the middle east. This TG4 film explores the lives endured by these captives through the eyes of two Irish slaves, Findan and Melkorka. 

Findan was later canonised, and his original writings were discovered in Switzerland‘s Rheinau Abbey. They describe in detail how the Vikings treated their captives brutally and have led internationally renowned historians and experts to investigate the historical reality of the Viking slave trade. The docudrama uses Findan’s first-hand account of his life after escaping from his captors. 

Íospartaigh na Lochlannach explores why the Vikings engaged in kidnapping, and the role slaves played within their society. It examines how professionally organised the slave trade was and how it developed over time. The project is produced by Pierce Boyce with Cathal Watters featuring as cinematographer.

The docudrama is funded with support from the Government of Ireland’s Section 481 and Fernsehfonds Austria, with the support of Creative Europe – Media Programme of the European Union. 

Íospartaigh na Lochlannach airs on TG4 this Wednesday, 14th September at 9:30pm.

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