The issue of monuments has become ever topical in the current global climate. In 2019 we began planning our Monuments Research Season, prompted by the research of Henry Moore Institute Post-Doctoral Research Fellows Dr Rebecca Senior and Dr Elizabeth Johnson, both of whom are working on different aspects of this topic. Since we first planned the season, monuments have become headline news all over the world. Our rescheduled online Monuments Season includes further contributions to reflect new responses to the subject since the season was conceived in 2019.
The twenty-first century has seen direct action taken against monuments across the world, as diversely motivated as the 2001 destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan by the Taliban, the #rhodesmustfall protest movement initiated at the University of Cape Town in 2015, and the numerous campaigns to remove Confederate monuments in the wake of the 2017 Charlottesville massacre. Most recently, the toppling of monuments connected to slavery in the wake of mass anti-racism and Black Lives Matter protests across the UK and internationally in 2020 has raised questions of who we commemorate and how, opening up conversations in different communities and contexts all over the world. As part of the Henry Moore Institute’s ongoing commitment to championing diversity in sculpture across our programmes, our online Monuments Season aims to reflect the wide-ranging and interdisciplinary nature of these debates and provide a platform for a range of new research and thinking on the subject.
Every Wednesday throughout September we will present new research around monuments in a variety of forms, ranging from pre-recorded lectures to podcasts and artists' films.
Topics will include the relationship between monuments, gender and sexuality, the role of religion and politics, monuments and colonial memory, and artists' responses to monumentality. All material will be available to access online on our website and YouTube channel.