Faidherbe Statue in Lille
By Contested Histories Initiative •
For the bicentenary of the birth of French General Louis Faidherbe in 2018, a protest campaign named ‘Faidherbe Doit Tomber’ (Faidherbe Must Fall) was organised contesting the Monument au Général Faidherbe (monument to General Faidherbe) located in Lille, France. The statue, which was erected in 1896, celebrates the general’s heroism during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. Since 2017, the monument has been heavily contested due to Faidherbe’s one-time position as governor of Senegal, during which time he conducted particularly violent and destructive campaigns in order to further French trading interests. The protest was sparked by the 2017 debate over a statue of Faidherbe located in the city of Saint Louis, in Senegal, and then further influenced by the French Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.