What Are Statues For? Roundtable

Williamson, Milly. 2023. What Are Statues For? Roundtable. Albany Arts Centre, London. [Other]

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Abstract or Description

Funded public engagement event - funded by Being Human (SAS, AHRC and BA).

This event was filmed by project collaborator Dr Freddie Osborn.

Join a day of creative workshops and a round table to probe the history of Imperial statues in Britain, including those on the front of Deptford Town Hall of Sir Francis Drake, Horatio Nelson and Robert Blake, and be part of the discussion about the connections between those commemorated and the rise of slavery and the British capitalist empire.

How did they come to be memorialised and why? How do statues of figures connected to the slave trade and British colonisation symbolise British history and culture? Are they part of ‘invented traditions’ of national belonging based on racial domination? What does it mean about our present society that so many of them remain in place, uncontested? Why don’t local residents have a more democratic say about our symbolic urban landscape? What can we do about it?

Come and join the debate about the future of such statues. Should they remain, or are there more creative and inspiring ways to re-imagine our multiracial history and culture?

Speakers include Rhian Graham (of the Colston 4), Helen Paul (of Museum of Slavery and Freedom), Marcella Pizzaro (Chilean journalist and anti-racist activist), Fiona Quadri (artist), Dean Ryan (of Stand Up To Racism and the Geffrye Must Fall campaign).

Item Type:


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


15 November 2023

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Date Deposited:

13 Mar 2024 10:13

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2024 10:30



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