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IQ2: Contested Statues: How Should We Memorialise The Past? at the Emmanuel Centre

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Time 19:00
Date 14/05/18
Price £30

Join historian and author Peter Frankopan, writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch and award-winning historian, writer and broadcaster David Olusoga as they discuss how we should memorialise the past.

Statues and memorials to famous figures of the past adorn our towns and cities. But what should be done when some of these figures have come to be seen by many people as controversial symbols of oppression and discrimination?

In Britain, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign hit the headlines when it demanded the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford’s Oriel College, of which he was a leading benefactor, because of his colonialism. In the US, violent protests in Charlottesville were sparked by a decision to remove from a park a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general in the American Civil War, because of the association of the Confederacy with slavery.

Passions run high on both sides. Are those calling for the removal of controversial statues seeking to right an historical injustice or are they trying to erase history? And are those who object to removing memorials defending the indefensible or are they conserving historical reality, however unpalatable that may be?

To discuss these emotive questions and examine the broader cultural conflicts which lie behind them, Intelligence Squared are joining forces with Historic England and bringing together a stellar panel including historians David Olusoga and Peter Frankopan and the journalist and author Afua Hirsch.

Peter Frankopan - Historian and author of the massive bestseller, The Silk Roads, a reassessment of world history which won ecstatic reviews across the globe. He is Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, and Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University.

Afua Hirsch - Writer and broadcaster, who has worked as a barrister, the legal affairs and West Africa correspondent for the Guardian, and social affairs editor for Sky News. Her first book, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, and was awarded a RSL Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction.

David Olusoga - Award-winning historian, writer and broadcaster. His latest book, Black and British: A Forgotten History, was accompanied by a BBC 2 documentary series of the same name.