Status Quo

Japanese Yasukuni shrine viewed from the side

Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo


By Jade

The Yasukuni Shrine, originally established in 1869, became controversial after the Second World War when 14 Class A War Criminals were enshrined at the site. Aside from the 14 war criminals, over 2.5 million souls are preserved at Yasukuni. Visits by Japanese leadership to the shrine have resulted in difficult… Read More

Statue of Women and Man holding a child elevated above the Dakar Skyline

African Renaissance Monument in Dakar


By Jade

The African Renaissance Monument is a 50-meter tall statue in Dakar, Senegal, erected in 2010 as the project of then-President Abdoulaye Wade. It serves to commemorate the ‘African Renaissance,’ a political ideology that heralds a goal of growth and prosperity for the African continent in the 21st century. However, the… Read More

Statue of Stalin infront of Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin Statue in Gori


By Jade

The removal of the Stalin statue from the central square in Gori represents a top-down policy implementation approach to a contested historical monument. Such implementations of Georgia’s Freedom Charter illustrate the legal framework under which symbols, monuments and names of sites related to the Soviet past become reconfigured. However, positions… Read More

An Archival image of the Coolela Battlefield Memorial

Coolela Battlefield Memorial in Mandlakazi (Manjacaze)


By Contested Histories Initiative

This memorial commemorates the 1895 Battle of Coolela, fought in Mozambique between the Portuguese colonial administration and their African allies, and the Gaza Empire led by Emperor Ngungunyane. The monument was originally created by the Portuguese administration in the late 1890s to celebrate their victory and conquest and to honour… Read More

The equestrian statue of General Julio Roca, with office buildings behind it, and a street full of people in front.

Statue of President General Julio Argentino Roca in Buenos Aires


By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

Former Argentine President Julio Argentino Roca remains a divisive and controversial figure in his home country. Despite forging the foundations of the modern Argentine state, Roca’s campaigns in Patagonia in the ‘Conquest of the Desert’ campaign, has lead to claims that he perpetrated genocide against indigenous Argentine populations. In the… Read More

Stone memorial in Jedwabne dedicated to murdered Jews with Hebrew inscription and pebbles on top

Jedwabne Pogrom Memorial in Jedwabne


By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

The Jedwabne pogrom memorial was renewed in 2001, following controversies surrounding who the perpetrators of the massacre were. This case study explores moral questions over the commemoration and memory of perpetrators, Poland’s responsibility for the slaughter, and how tragic events such as historical pogroms should be commemorated in the contemporary… Read More