David Olusoga to chair discussion on diversity in statues and public memories

Mon, 20 Sep 2021 16:47:00 BST

David Olusoga OBE, Professor of Public History at the University, is chairing a special panel discussion on the debate around statues and public memorials in Manchester and Bristol as part of Black History Month.

The event, ‘From Bristol to Manchester: history and memory in our cities’, will be held on 5 October 2021. It is part of The University's Creative Manchester research platform and will question how diverse voices and communities can be engaged in cultural policymaking.

The discussion will also reflect on a recent consultation about statues, monuments and artworks in Manchester’s public realm. The consultation, carried out in spring 2021, outlined how important the conversation around public art and diverse histories has become to local communities and wider society. This was brought into sharp focus in June 2020 with the tearing down of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.

The panel will include Councillor Luthfur Rahman, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, Dr Sadia Habib of The University of Manchester and Dr Joanna Burch-Brown of the University of Bristol. They will be joined by young people who participated in ‘Whose Statues? Whose Stories?’, a series of online workshops led by Dr Habib that brought together young people, researchers and spoken word artists to examine monuments in their local areas and produce creative responses.

The event builds on the findings of The University of Manchester’s ‘Contesting Statues’ research project. Based out of our Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity, the project examined global activism against the presence of statues that commemorate colonial histories and slave traders.

Free to attend. All welcome. Booking essential: