Statue in Peru of circles of pebbles in the middle of park with hunched figure in centre

Peru: The Battlefield of Memories

By Javier Lizarzaburu 24 August 2021

There is no monument more contested in Lima than El Ojo que Llora (The Eye That Cries). Almost from the beginning it has been opposed and vandalized. A few years ago, the serenity and beauty of the area, in one of the main parks in the city, was compromised when… Read More

Tribute to Edward Mortimer

By Contested Histories Initiative 27 June 2021

The IHJR and the Contested Histories team mourn the loss of our dear friend and stalwart supporter, Advisory Board member, Edward Mortimer, CMG, a Distinguished Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, who passed away on June 18, 2021, at the age of 77. Edward had a long, distinguished career as… Read More

Newly painted mural on the International Wall, Falls Road, Belfast, following the death of George Floyd in the city of Minneapolis on the 25th May 2020.

Muralling in Belfast

George Floyd and the International Wall

By Luke Dunne 26 March 2021

Smartphones and social media can transfigure a single, horrific event into something malleable and replayable. One might think the contemporary public (hyper)space would render more traditional forms of political communication obsolete. But grieving for George Floyd and with the victims of racism everywhere meant reconceiving that public space. Muralling –… Read More

A woman stands in front of a sculpture, depicting a centaur strangling a man.

Contested Heritage on Film

An interview with Oxford student & former intern Issabella Orlando on her award winning documentary ‘The Return Address’

By Mechteld Visser 11 March 2021

When Issabella Orlando joined the Contested Histories team for a week-long research assignment in December 2020, she already had an extensive project on contested heritage under her belt. While studying full-time at Oxford University, Issabella wrote and directed the short documentary ‘The Return Address: Where Does Heritage Belong?’. The film… Read More

Statue of General Redvers Buller, in it's previous ungraffitied state.

A Reverse on Buller

How a Council Rescinded its Decision for Relocating a Statue

By Oliver Anthony 26 February 2021

There is a strange irony in Exeter City Council’s recent reversal of their decision to relocate a statue of nineteenth-century military leader, General Sir Redvers Buller; the man who had already earned himself the nickname ‘Reverse Buller’ for his garish military tactics and organisational failings. On January 12th, 2021, it… Read More

Colston's Girl School as seen from the road, with trees in front.

Colston in Bristol

School Renaming

By Samuel Wall 12 February 2021

After a storm comes the calm. When applied to “storms” of popular protest fuelled by contestations over controversial legacies of the past in public spaces – specifically those raised by the Black Lives  Matter Movement concerning colonialism, slavery, and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s killing on  25th May 2020… Read More

Virtual book launch: Contested Histories in Public Spaces

By Alicia Rijlaarsdam 5 February 2021

The virtual launch of the eBook “Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices” will be held on Thursday 11 February (18:00 – 19:00 CET). During the webinar, hosted by the International Bar Association, participants will hear from the volumes’ co-editors, such as Dr Timothy W Ryback, Dr Mark Ellis, and Benjamin… Read More

The cover of the Contested Histories in Public Spaces book.

New Contested Histories research collaboration sparks a call for more

By Grace Sahota 24 November 2020

This article was triggered by a new collaboration between the Contested Histories Initiative and students in ‘Narratives of the Past’ from France. Contested Histories is a multi-year project designed to identify principles, processes and best practices for addressing these contestations at the community or municipal level and in the classroom. As… Read More

A statue of Robert Towns sits beside a tree.

Robert Towns’ Statue and his Blackbirding Legacy

By Grace Sahota 29 September 2020

We are pleased to present the case on a statue of Robert Towns in Townsville, Australia, as part of a series of in-depth studies for the Contested Histories Initiative. We hope that this series will provide insights and lessons learned for engaging with and addressing instances of disputed historical legacies… Read More

A collection of headlines about the Cecil Rhodes statue controversy at Oriel College in Oxford.

The Legacy of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College

By Oliver Anthony 13 August 2020

When a protestor left a sign on the doors of Oxford’s University Church reading ‘Rhodes, You’re Next’, there was little doubt that the monumental Black Lives Matter movement, sweeping the world after the death of George Floyd, would next be turning its attention to the statue of the imperialist figure… Read More

A statue of Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore, with skyscrapers rising in the background.

Monuments Matter

A Singaporean Solution

By Miranda Richman 27 July 2020

We are pleased to present the case on The Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles and His Legacy as part of a series of in-depth studies for the Contested Histories Initiative. We hope that this series will provide insights and lessons learned for engaging with and addressing instances of disputed historical legacies… Read More

Protestors and celebrators surround and stand atop a statues plinth with Chilean flags, instruments, and streamers.

The Contested Histories project made news in Chile

By Catalina Gaete 10 July 2020

During the last week, the Contested Histories project had intensive activity in Chile, the South American country where even before the Black Lives Matters movement, over a dozen statues and monuments were vandalized or removed in a matter of days. One of our team members participated in an online talk… Read More