The term ‘reconstruction’ is often used to characterize a moment in time where a series of events force a period of political, social and economic reorganisation. This past year, the Covid-19 pandemic and the sustained Black Lives Matter protests have prompted a collective reassessment of the past in order to make sense of present-day inequalities. Stuart discussed ‘reconstruction’ as an opportunity to “reinscribe the past, reactivate it, relocate it and resignify it” in order to work through the present, reinterpret the future and to imagine something else. Our #reconstructionwork series implements Stuart’s thinking through a series of online public conversations where we invite writers, artists and activists to critically consider how we can build a better society in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide.
For our third conversation in the series, you will meet SHF trustee Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre of the Study of British Slave-ownership at UCL, and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, founder and co-convener of the Oxford Queer Studies Network and Stuart Hall scholar at Merton College, Oxford University.
The most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests has rejuvenated popular debate over the removal of statues of British slave owners from public spaces. The fall of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol and calls to remove statues of Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson and Cecil Rhodes has forced the British public to reconsider questions of history and colonial legacies.
Catherine and Ruth will explore the importance of new histories, Reparations, working to decolonise education and shifting collective memories in the effort to imagine new futures.
Learn more about our #ReconstructionWork Programme here