Colonialism

Filipina Comforto Women Statue in Manila
#124

Filipina Comfort Women in Manila

Philippines

By Contested Histories Initiative

Filipina Comfort Women was a statue erected on 8 December 2017 along Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard, in Manila. The contestation began days after the statue’s installation with a request for background information by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication Seiko Noda later regretted the… Read More

Teaching contested histories in Brazil: strategies and struggles to diversify the historical landscape of São Paulo

By Vinícius Borges Garcia Fonseca

Public Hearing with Ana Laura’s Collective Mandate and the Front in Defence of African Peoples and Communities at São Paulo’s State Legislative House. Picture taken on October 24, 2023. Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cyw29A-tVCQ/?img_index=1. Interview conducted by Vinícius Borges Garcia Fonseca on May 11, 2023. DISCLAIMER: The following interview was conducted in… Read More

#409

Wartime Labourer Statue in Busan

Republic of Korea

By Contested Histories Initiative

First installed amidst clashes with local authorities on May 1, 2018, the Wartime Labourer Statue in Busan, Republic of Korea (South Korea), symbolises one aspect of the trauma left by Japanese colonialism. Initially planned to be erected in front of the Japanese Consulate General in the city, activists ignored the… Read More

Jean Baptiste Colbert Satue in Paris in France
#56

Jean Baptiste Colbert Statue in Paris

France

By Contested Histories Initiative

For many years, Jean-Baptiste Colbert was praised for his involvement in creating a strong French state. In recent years, however, this status has been called into question, notably concerning his involvement in laying the foundation of the Code Noir, a legal text which legitimised slavery in the French colonies. In… Read More

#85

Rodolfo Graziani Monument in Affile

Italy

By Contested Histories Initiative

A mausoleum inaugurated in August 2012 in the town of Affile, located in metropolitan Rome, has been subject to vandalism and protests by various anti-fascist groups. While the local right-wing mayor, Ercole Viri, claims that the publicly funded mausoleum was commissioned to honour Italian war veterans, the structure appears to… Read More

#50

Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo

Dominican Republic

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Columbus Lighthouse of Santo Domingo is an enormous mausoleum which is said to contain Christopher Columbus’ remains. The first plans to build a monument to Columbus date back to the mid-nineteenth century, and a competition to decide the design of the project was launched in 1928. The final project… Read More

#36

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral Statue in Macau (SAR)

China

By Contested Histories Initiative

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral was the Portuguese Governor of Macau between 1846-1849, his commitment to formalizing Macau and Portugal’s colonial relationship, lead to his assassination by Chinese peasants. He became emblematic of the ambiguous colonial relationship between the two countries, leading to his statue being removed during the decolonization… Read More

#65

Carl Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg

Germany

By Contested Histories Initiative

The zoo Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, Germany, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck, a trader of wild animals who was notable for his exhibitions of people of colour in Völkerschauen or ‘human zoos’. Since 2020, petitioners and protestors have been demanding a critical reexamination of Hagenbeck’s legacy, calling for… Read More

#104

The Marine Memorial in Swakopmund

Namibia

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Marine Denkmal (Marine Memorial) in Swakopmund, Namibia, commemorates the German imperial soldiers who fought against Indigenous Namibians in the Herero Wars (1904-1908). Amid fraught Namibian-Germany relations and contested national memory politics, this monument has become a reminder of unresolved colonial legacies and traumas. Indigenous Namibian groups have pursued legal… Read More

#106

Mauritshuis in The Hague

Netherlands

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Mauritshuis bears the name of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679), who commissioned its construction and was its first occupant. In early 2018, the Mauritshuis faced an intense but brief controversy following its earlier removal of Johan Maurits’ bust from its foyer. Opponents such as Piet Emmer and centre-right to… Read More