PUBLIC TALK: Is it OK to remove statues?
With Associate Professor Clarissa Ball, Discipline Chair, History of Art, UWA School of Design, Director, UWA Institute of Advanced Studies.
The recent removal of Confederate statues in the United States has resulted in extraordinary acts of violence, heightened racial tensions and death. Debate continues to rage about whether or not the removal of public statues is akin to erasing the past and “changing history”, as President Trump put it. Is Trump right, or is the truth far more complex?
Closer to home, debate is mounting about Australia’s colonial monuments. Stan Grant’s statement that the inscription on the statue of James Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park “maintains a damaging myth” has been met with astonishing claims. One commentator has gone so far as to liken Grant’s questioning of the statue’s plaque and its doctrine of discovery to the cultural destruction of the Taliban Left.
Join us for this Talking Allowed to consider what it is about statues that render them the focus of struggle and to explore some of the complexities that surround their removal or modification.
‘Talking Allowed’ is a new series of presentations offered by the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.
On the second Tuesday of every month, a UWA academic will give a short presentation on a topic of current relevance to the arts and culture before inviting the audience to participate in discussion and debate.
‘Talking Allowed’ is designed to be thought-provoking, challenging, stimulating and engaging. Come along and join the dialogue on matters that are of great importance to our society.
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