Wave of protest marks new era
The dramatic toppling of the statue of Edward Colston at a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol in June made headlines around the world and has led to a call to begin a new era.
Now, Bristol’s true history will be researched by a commission including historians so the city can better understand its story. The statue has been retrieved from the harbour and will be exhibited in one of Bristol’s museums in the future, displayed alongside Black Lives Matter placards from the recent protest so the 300 year story of slavery through to today’s fight for racial equality can be learnt about.
Marvin Rees, Bristol Mayor, said: “These events have really highlighted that as a city we all have very different understandings of our past. The only way we can work together on our future is by learning the truth of our beginnings, embracing the facts, and sharing those stories with others. This is why this commission is so important.”
Cotham Councillor, Cleo Lake, said: “I have always advocated that the statue be put in a museum in an appropriate context. There have been many opportunities to do this that have been ignored.
“Whilst the way the statue was taken down could have been different, I fully support how the incident was policed under the watch of Supt. Andy Bennett.”
Photographer Colin Moody captured the moment the statue was dumped in the floating harbour and has printed out five giant canvas versions of the image for people to write their thoughts on, some given to people who organise poetry and events in the black community. The first canvas of The Wave was displayed outside Room 212, Gloucester Road on June 18 and attracted a crowd, keen to add their thoughts to the artwork.
“There have been so many reactions to the toppling of the Edward Colston statue,” said Colin. “This image taken of the moment a wave of people sent him into the water has had a mixed response and it seems there is a lot people want to say. I wanted those thoughts to be marked down in some way so I am inviting people from diverse backgrounds in different parts of the city to have a chance to do so. I then hope to put them all on display in the near future.
“I want to keep the conversation going about Black Lives Matter. Until Colston’s statue goes into a gallery there is nowhere for people to express their thoughts about it and what it represents.”
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