Racism

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

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

Harvard University Widener Library
#181

Harvard’s Legacy of Slavery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative September, 2022

In the past decade, Harvard University has taken great strides to acknowledge the legacy of slavery on campus. Slavery provided an impetus for the creation of resources at Harvard, and several enslaved Black and Indigenous individuals of former university presidents even resided on campus at specific points. Centuries later, Harvard… Read More

Stone Mountain Park Memorial in Georgia
#198

Stone Mountain Park Memorial in Georgia

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Stone Mountain Park Memorial is the largest Confederate memorial in the U.S., and the controversy around it demonstrates that the American Civil War’s emancipatory purpose remains contested more than a century-and-a-half after its end. Despite multiple protests, and a gubernatorial campaign running on a platform against the monument’s continued… Read More

Stolpersteine dedicated to the Goldstein and Helbing families
#63

Stumbling Stones in Munich

Germany

By Contested Histories Initiative

Stolpersteine or ‘stumbling stones’ are components of a project initiated by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1996 to commemorate victims of the Holocaust. The memorials, in the form of cobblestones installed in public streets, now number in the tens of thousands across Europe and beyond. However, they have also been… Read More

Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II in Washington DC
#184

WWII Japanese American Memorial in Washington DC

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II in Washington, D.C., United States, is a monument to the 112,581 Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. Government during World War II. It also commemorates Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. Military. The inscriptions in the memorial received criticism… Read More

van Riebeecks wild almond hedge in Cape Town
#139

Van Riebeeck’s Hedge in Cape Town

South Africa

By Contested Histories Initiative

Jan van Riebeeck arrived at Cape of Good Hope in 1652. His mission was to create a station for the Dutch East India Company’s ships. This meant colonising the lands inhabited by the Khoikhoi. To keep them from accessing his land, van Riebeeck planted a wild almond hedge. The hedge… Read More

Jose Miguel Gomez Monument in La Habana
#281

José Miguel Gómez Statue in La Habana

Cuba

By Contested Histories Initiative

José Miguel Gómez was a celebrated military general who led Cuban forces during the wars of independence against Spain in the 19th century and served as Cuba’s second president between 1909 and 1913. The monument was first inaugurated in 1936. The statue has consistently been a source of contention. It… 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

Plaque from Minneapolis Park & Recreation for Lake Calhoun Bde Maka Saka
#213

Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

In 2015, a citizen advisory committee including several Indigenous activists proposed that ‘Lake Calhoun’—christened for John C. Calhoun, antebellum politician, slavery advocate, and proponent of the Indian Removal Act—be restored to its original Dakota place name, ‘Bde Maka Ska’, meaning ‘White Earth Lake’. What followed was a contentious legal battle… Read More