Colonialism

Statue Columbus
#143

Columbus Statue in Barcelona

Spain

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Columbus Monument in Barcelona, located at the intersection of the city’s port and the main street of Las Ramblas, was built during the Columbus-mania of the 19th century and was the largest monument dedicated to the so-called discoverer of the Americas. Several social and political groups have called for… Read More

Memorial Plaque Comfort Women Palisades
#226

Comfort Women Memorial in New Jersey

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

A ‘Comfort Women’ Memorial was unveiled outside Palisades Public Library in New Jersey in 2010. The monument paid homage to the more than 200,000 South Korean women who were victims of sexual exploitation (also termed ‘sexual slavery’) by Imperial Japanese forces before and during World War II. Though the Korean-American… Read More

King Leopold II equestrian monument in Brussels
#13

Leopold II Statue in Brussels

Belgium

By Contested Histories Initiative

The June 2020 global Black Lives Matter protests and the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independence on June 30th brought increased scrutiny of Belgium’s colonial past under the leadership of King Leopold II to the forefront of public consciousness. During this period, the Brussels monument of King Leopold was defaced as… Read More

Colonel Nixo Statue in South Auckland
#116

Nixon Memorial in South Auckland

New Zealand

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon statue (‘Nixon memorial’) stands at the intersection of Mangere and Great South roads in Otahuhu, a suburb of South Auckland, New Zealand. A contentious figure in New Zealand colonial history, the suitability of the public-nature of the memorial was called into question in 2017 after… Read More

Khala Goda Statue in Mumbai, India
#282

Khala Goda Statue in Mumbai

India

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Kala Ghoda (Black Horse) statue is a 16.7-foot-tall bronze statue in Mumbai, India, and a prominent relic of the country’s colonial era. The equestrian statue of King Edward VII became contentious during a period of rising nationalistic sentiments opposing symbols of imperial power in newly independent India. It was… Read More

Shaheed Bhagat Singh Roundabout
#121

Shaheed Bhagat Singh Roundabout in Lahore

Pakistan

By Contested Histories Initiative

Commonly known as Fawara Chowk (Fountain Roundabout), the formal name, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk roundabout, has been the source of contestation since 2016. The roundabout is directly adjacent to the former prison where Sikh Marxist-Revolutionary Bhagat Singh was executed in 1931 by the British. Since then, the prison has been… Read More

Old Slave Market in Lagos
#130

Old Slave Market in Lagos

Portugal

By Contested Histories Initiative

Hiding in plain sight in Lagos’ central square lies the Antigo Mercado de Escravos, the Old Slave Market, which hosts a unique museum. The building is situated in the square–formerly a beach–where enslaved people would once have been bought and sold, along with other goods such as ivory and Malagueta… Read More

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