Racism

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

#228

J. Marion Sims Statue in New York

United States of America

By Jade

In Central Park in New York, New York, a statue of physician J. Marion Sims was raised in 1934. Sims was credited with highly impactful procedures in gynaecology; However, many of these procedures were generated by conducting surgery on enslaved Black women without anaesthesia. Local activists began calling for the… 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

Newly painted mural on the International Wall, Falls Road, Belfast, following the death of George Floyd in the city of Minneapolis on the 25th May 2020.
#158

Muralling in Belfast

George Floyd and the International Wall

By Luke Dunne 26 March 2021

Smartphones and social media can transfigure a single, horrific event into something malleable and replayable. One might think the contemporary public (hyper)space would render more traditional forms of political communication obsolete. But grieving for George Floyd and with the victims of racism everywhere meant reconceiving that public space. Muralling –… Read More

Frank Rizzo Statue at Philadelphia's Municipal Services Building
#192

Monuments Matter

A Comment on Philadelphia

By Marie-Louise Jansen 2 June 2020

A day after this blog post was originally published, the statue was removed. For details see local news report at NBC Philadelphia.  During this past weekend , the city of Philadelphia, like dozens of cities across America, erupted in mass protests in response to the murder of George Floyd, an… Read More

Statue of Cecil Rhodes sitting locaded on steps of the Univerity of Cape Town campus.
#104

Cecil John Rhodes Statue at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town

South Africa

By Jade September 30, 2021

In 2015 the #Rhodesmustfall protests erupted at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The resulting debate and movement soon spread globally, with similar protests occurring at the University of Oxford. This case study shows how protests over symbolic historical representations can draw wider attention to issues of structural… Read More

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi with staff in front of University of Ghana
#72

University of Ghana Gandhi Statue in Accra

Ghana

By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

In June 2016, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was gifted to the University of Ghana in Accra, by the Indian President. Shortly after, staff and students at the University circulated a petition calling for the statue’s removal due to Gandhi’s racist writings on Africans. In 2018, two years after the… Read More

Gender, Transnational Justice and Memorial Arts

Global Perspectives on Commemoration and Mobilisation

By Jelke Boesten & Helen Scanlon 2021

This book examines the role of post-conflict memorial arts in bringing about gender justice in transitional societies. The book brings together research from scholars around the world who are interested in the gendered dimensions of memory-making in transitional societies. Aimed at those interested in the fields of transitional justice, memory… Read More