Statues, monuments, street names, and other markers project a collective historical memory on public spaces. Inclusive societies need commemorative landscapes that reflect the collective nature and values of the communities they serve.
The Contested Histories Initiative seeks practical remedies to contestations over historical markers in public spaces as part of broader efforts to create more inclusive and equitable societies, in particular for and with communities that have been marginalised or disenfranchised due to race, ethnicity, gender, or other affiliations.
Statue of Joséphine de Beauharnais in Fort-de-France
The statue of Napoleon’s first wife, first Empress of the French, lingered beheaded in Martinique, one of the remaining overseas… Read More
Ncome and Blood River Monuments on Ncombe River in Nquthu-Dundee
On the 16th of December 1838 the infamous Battle of Blood River on the banks of the Ncome River between… Read More
Bremen’s Elefant: Memorialisation, politics, and memory surrounding German colonialism
In 1932, German citizens gathered for the dedication of the Kolonialelefant in Bremen. The Bremen Colonial Society created this… Read More
Subverting the Historical Narrative: The Future of the Counter-Monument
‘Honor history.’ Those were the words graffitied beside a toppled Madre Luz – or “Mother Light” – in Wyman Park… Read More
#SmutsMustFall: The Forgotten Battle to Counter the Legacy of one of Apartheid’s Most Prominent Architects
‘Churchill was a racist,’ read the hastily-daubed paint on the bottom of Parliament Square’s towering effigy to one of Britain’s… Read More
What do the #’s mean?
The #’s are unique identifiers for our Case Studies. As a case is identified and added to our Cases List, it is assigned a number. Stories and Resources relating to a case are also tagged with the Case #.
Can I download the Cases List?
Yes! Click ‘Map’ in the menu and scroll down. You can fill out a form to download the Cases List.
I know of a case that is not on your list, how can it be added?
Submit potential new cases using the contact form on the Get Involved page. Remember to also share a news article and image if available.
What is the purpose of this project?
To study disputes over statues, street names, and other historical legacies in public spaces with an aim to identify principles, processes and best practices for decision-makers, civil society advocates, and educators confronting the complexities of divisive historical memory.