Racism

#329

Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

By Contested Histories Initiative

Construction works in Rio de Janeiro’s Port Region to prepare for the 2014 World Cup, and 2016 Olympics led to the rediscovery of one of the most significant landing points in the Americas for an estimated one million enslaved people between 1811 and 1831. In February 2011, Valongo Wharf was… Read More

#49

I am Queen Mary Statue in Copenhagen

Denmark

By Contested Histories Initiative

In 2018, artists La Vaughn Belle and Jeannette Ehlers created the ‘I Am Queen Mary’ Statue. The monument honours Mary Thomas, one of the three female leaders of the 1878 ‘Fireburn’ Rebellion, a revolt against Danish colonial rule on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. The monument was unveiled during… Read More

Mary Seacole Statue in front of St. Thomas Hospital in London
#174

Mary Seacole Statue in London, England

United Kingdom

By Contested Histories Initiative

The 2016 statue commemorating Mary Seacole at St. Thomas Hospital in London is the first statue in the United Kingdom dedicated to a named black woman. Mary Seacole is remembered for her involvement as a nurse in the Crimean War. However, some argue that her figure has been mythologised and… Read More

Manzanar Memorial with USA flag
#185

Manzanar Historic Site in California

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

During World War II, the U.S. Government incarcerated thousands of Japanese Americans in so-called War Relocation Centres around the country. One of them was the Manzanar Relocation Center, which at its peak, housed around 11,000 detainees. Incarcerated behind barbed wire and guard towers, Japanese American families lost their freedom which… 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

#354

Squaw Valley in California

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

The term ‘squaw’ (hereafter sq___) is widely considered an offensive, derogatory, racist and misogynistic word to refer to Native American women. In 2021, following the renaming of the Sq___ Valley ski resort in the unincorporated populated place in Olympic Valley in Placer County, California, to ‘Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort’, a… Read More

Columbus Gateway Monument in Galway
#441

Columbus Monument in Galway

Ireland

By Contested Histories Initiative

Christopher Columbus was a famed Genoese explorer whose 1492 expedition across the Atlantic is famous for his ‘discovery’ of America. Having visited Galway in 1477, a monument commemorating this visit was unveiled in 1992, having been donated by the city of Genoa to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ famous… Read More

Curt von François Statue with military attire in windhoek
#246

Curt von François Statue in Windhoek

Namibia

By Contested Histories Initiative

Curt von François (1852-1931) was a German military officer and colonialist, most well known in Namibia for his role in the genocide of the Namaqua and Herero peoples. A statue of him was erected in 1965 in Windhoek, Namibia, to mark the 75th anniversary of his supposed ‘founding’ of the… Read More

Statue plint empty in Blantyre
#98

Gandhi Statue in Blantyre

Malawi

By Contested Histories Initiative

In 2018, a statue of Gandhi was proposed to be built in Blantyre, Malawi’s second-largest city. The Statue formed part of a USD 10 million investment from the Indian Government to construct a convention centre named after Gandhi. However, given Gandhi’s controversial writings on race, a ‘Gandhi Must Fall’ protest… Read More

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

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

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