Colonialism

Jan Pieterszoon Coen Hoorn
#235

Jan Pieterszoon Coen Statue in Hoorn

The Netherlands

By Contested Histories Initiative

Nicknamed the ‘Slaughterer of Banda,’ the figure of Jan Pieterszoon Coen has become increasingly contested in recent years. The statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen in Hoorn has been a disputed monument since its unveiling in 1893. The statue has been smeared with red paint and graffiti numerous times in the… Read More

Group of Selk'nam People in Traditional Clothing
#31

Selk’nam Genocide Public Commemoration in Punta Arenas

Chile

By Contested Histories Initiative

The late nineteenth century saw the systematic killing of the Selk’nam indigenous group members at the hands of European settlers in Punta Arenas, Chile. Until 2007, the official state narrative surrounding the fate of the Selk’nam failed to recognise the genocidal dynamics underpinning the dramatic decline in their population. Instead,… Read More

Statue of Faidherbe on horse at Lille
#57

Faidherbe Statue in Lille

France

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… Read More

#168

Redvers Buller Statue in Exeter, England

United Kingdom

By Jade

Following the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests, the statue of General Redvers Buller was reviewed by the Exeter City Task Force and slated for removal. This was due to Bullers controversial historical role in the South African War (1899-1902). This decision to remove the statue received mixed reactions and spurred… Read More

#290

Leopold II Statue in Kinshasa

Democratic Republic of Congo

By Jade

In 1967, an equestrian statue of Belgian King Leopold II, the owner and absolute ruler of the Free State of Congo from 1886 to 1908, was taken down and discarded on the outskirts of Kinshasa, in today’s Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of President Mobutu’s postcolonial re-indigenising policy. In… 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.
#168

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

A statue of Robert Towns sits beside a tree.
#6

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