Tear it Down_Material Culture and Reparations
From Nicki Frith
In response to the solidarity anti-racism protests triggered by the brutal murder of George Floyd, the INOSAAR is hosting a series of roundtables and panel discussions.
This first roundtable was held on Thursday 2 July 2020. It aimed think through the recent (or planned) removal of statues, such as the enslaver Colston in Bristol, and/or the renaming of streets and squares, such as Dudley Square in Boston and the current movement to rename Faneuil Hall.
Our panellists included: Cleo Lake (Green Party Councillor and Former Lord Mayor of Bristol), Kevin Peterson (The New Democracy Coalition, Boston) and Kojo Bonsu (Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament, UK).
This discussion on material culture helped us to think about broader concerns linked to educational repairs and reparatory justice, including: the role of statues (and other sites of memory or other forms of material culture) in public space; the process of reviewing and rewriting historical narratives (in public space and in the curriculum); how these acts might be linked to forms of reparation and reparative justice; how to guard against the risks of erasure and forgetting going forwards; and how to link to broader questions concern educational repairs and the reparatory justice content of a decolonized curriculum.