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Author Topic: More and more protest in Belgium against statues Leopold II  (Read 4583 times)
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Chandrasekhi

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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2020, 01:34:13 PM »

There's a reason why Arbeit Macht Frei is kept.  To remind us all of the inhumanity of the past.

Some statues need to come down because they aren't there as a reminder of inhumanity, but as a glorification of values that countries no longer hold (in their majority).  And as a society, we ought not to glorify misdeeds. 

Having said that, some of these protesters are extraordinarily ignorant of history.  In Wisconsin, they pulled down and decapitated the statue of Hans Christian Weg, a Norwegian who fought for the union army here in the US to end slavery. He hated slavery.  He hated segregation. He gave his life when he was 33 to end it.  They destroyed it because.... white man... statue bad... must come down. 

Some idiot even painted 'black is beautiful' on the statue.  Yeah, idiot, Hans knew that.  That's why he gave his life for African-Americans to be free.

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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2020, 01:35:29 PM »

If we are all part of the human race and no artificial grouping confers superiority to anyone, then we are all equally capable of deeds that represent the best and worst of humanity. Will removing statues change that history or human propensity? Will removing statues remove reminders of our painful past for victim, oppressor, the bystanders and their descendants?

What it will certainly do is cease to remind us of what we are ALL capable of. Instead of removing the statues, we should post epitaphs of the legacy left by that person: the good, bad and very ugly. Not everyone will seek truth. Many will accept the information given to them as truisms. If we consign the Leopold IIs of this world to the bin of history or the back of a museum, they have very little to teach people except the people who seek it. Their voices will be drowned out.

We will forget. In so doing, we will repeat what came before. Statues are beacons and milestones: points of reflection. History is not bunk. It is out tale.


You are like this site's oracle, and I appreciate it so much.  Star
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« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2020, 01:48:53 PM »

Off topic, but the people of Bristol tried for more than 50 years to get even a small plaque put near the statue of Colston to mention that, you know, he was a slave trader, and every single attempt was blocked. So people chucked the statue in the harbour and it will be going into Bristol Museum with the appropriate contextualisation.

I think there are ways of reinterpreting public sculpture, but very few avenues to do so.

I personally like the approach Hungary took with Memento Park: sculptures were removed from their previous locations (or knocked over/toppled/damaged/defaced) and relocated to a park where they are presented as relics of another time.
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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2020, 02:15:28 PM »

Off topic, but the people of Bristol tried for more than 50 years to get even a small plaque put near the statue of Colston to mention that, you know, he was a slave trader, and every single attempt was blocked. So people chucked the statue in the harbour and it will be going into Bristol Museum with the appropriate contextualisation.

I think there are ways of reinterpreting public sculpture, but very few avenues to do so.

I personally like the approach Hungary took with Memento Park: sculptures were removed from their previous locations (or knocked over/toppled/damaged/defaced) and relocated to a park where they are presented as relics of another time.

FC, are they? Slavery is alive and increasing across the globe.
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« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2020, 02:51:22 PM »

Off topic, but the people of Bristol tried for more than 50 years to get even a small plaque put near the statue of Colston to mention that, you know, he was a slave trader, and every single attempt was blocked. So people chucked the statue in the harbour and it will be going into Bristol Museum with the appropriate contextualisation.

I think there are ways of reinterpreting public sculpture, but very few avenues to do so.

I personally like the approach Hungary took with Memento Park: sculptures were removed from their previous locations (or knocked over/toppled/damaged/defaced) and relocated to a park where they are presented as relics of another time.

FC, are they? Slavery is alive and increasing across the globe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memento_Park

These are sculptures from Hungary's Communist past. Like many Eastern European nations, that had the challenge of what to do with multiple large monuments to Marx, Lenin, Stalin, etc.
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« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2020, 03:30:23 PM »

Off topic, but the people of Bristol tried for more than 50 years to get even a small plaque put near the statue of Colston to mention that, you know, he was a slave trader, and every single attempt was blocked. So people chucked the statue in the harbour and it will be going into Bristol Museum with the appropriate contextualisation.

I think there are ways of reinterpreting public sculpture, but very few avenues to do so.

I personally like the approach Hungary took with Memento Park: sculptures were removed from their previous locations (or knocked over/toppled/damaged/defaced) and relocated to a park where they are presented as relics of another time.

FC, are they? Slavery is alive and increasing across the globe.

When I was teaching full time, my fifth grade colleagues encountered parents who demanded that the curriculum not share the information that slavery has continued past  the American Civil War. Sad The teachers had explained to their classes that slavery was continuing in parts of the world and shared some stories about the Immigration officials arresting people who had brought slaves to the U.S. The students asked if they could have a fundraiser to raise funds to buy someone their freedom. While most parents were in favor, we had a very vocal number who demanded that this was an unacceptable activity and that their students didn't need to learn about it. District Office shut it down.
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« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2020, 03:42:16 PM »

There's a reason why Arbeit Macht Frei is kept.  To remind us all of the inhumanity of the past.

Some statues need to come down because they aren't there as a reminder of inhumanity, but as a glorification of values that countries no longer hold (in their majority).  And as a society, we ought not to glorify misdeeds. 

Having said that, some of these protesters are extraordinarily ignorant of history.  In Wisconsin, they pulled down and decapitated the statue of Hans Christian Weg, a Norwegian who fought for the union army here in the US to end slavery. He hated slavery.  He hated segregation. He gave his life when he was 33 to end it.  They destroyed it because.... white man... statue bad... must come down. 

Some idiot even painted 'black is beautiful' on the statue.  Yeah, idiot, Hans knew that.  That's why he gave his life for African-Americans to be free.

 Star Star Star Star Star spoonie!

In school we once had a discussion with a Holocaust survivor. A very nice and sweet old lady, who had certainly every reason to be hateful for what had been done to her and her family/friends.

I remember one of the fellow pupils asked, if she hated that people.

She answered with: No not anymore, because hate only contributes to new hate and therefore it would never end without forgiveness. Moreover it doesn't bring her loved ones back.
She said she rather felt pity for them.

I've always thought that it was a very good answer. Not that anybody would've wondered or not understood it, if she'd simply answered with yes.
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Chandrasekhi

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« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2020, 10:32:57 PM »

Off topic, but the people of Bristol tried for more than 50 years to get even a small plaque put near the statue of Colston to mention that, you know, he was a slave trader, and every single attempt was blocked. So people chucked the statue in the harbour and it will be going into Bristol Museum with the appropriate contextualisation.

I think there are ways of reinterpreting public sculpture, but very few avenues to do so.

I personally like the approach Hungary took with Memento Park: sculptures were removed from their previous locations (or knocked over/toppled/damaged/defaced) and relocated to a park where they are presented as relics of another time.

FC, are they? Slavery is alive and increasing across the globe.

When I was teaching full time, my fifth grade colleagues encountered parents who demanded that the curriculum not share the information that slavery has continued past  the American Civil War. Sad The teachers had explained to their classes that slavery was continuing in parts of the world and shared some stories about the Immigration officials arresting people who had brought slaves to the U.S. The students asked if they could have a fundraiser to raise funds to buy someone their freedom. While most parents were in favor, we had a very vocal number who demanded that this was an unacceptable activity and that their students didn't need to learn about it. District Office shut it down.

Out of the mouths of babes!  

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« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2020, 12:20:57 AM »

There's a reason why Arbeit Macht Frei is kept.  To remind us all of the inhumanity of the past.

Some statues need to come down because they aren't there as a reminder of inhumanity, but as a glorification of values that countries no longer hold (in their majority).  And as a society, we ought not to glorify misdeeds. 

Having said that, some of these protesters are extraordinarily ignorant of history.  In Wisconsin, they pulled down and decapitated the statue of Hans Christian Weg, a Norwegian who fought for the union army here in the US to end slavery. He hated slavery.  He hated segregation. He gave his life when he was 33 to end it.  They destroyed it because.... white man... statue bad... must come down. 

Some idiot even painted 'black is beautiful' on the statue.  Yeah, idiot, Hans knew that.  That's why he gave his life for African-Americans to be free.

 Star Star Star Star Star spoonie!

In school we once had a discussion with a Holocaust survivor. A very nice and sweet old lady, who had certainly every reason to be hateful for what had been done to her and her family/friends.

I remember one of the fellow pupils asked, if she hated that people.

She answered with: No not anymore, because hate only contributes to new hate and therefore it would never end without forgiveness. Moreover it doesn't bring her loved ones back.
She said she rather felt pity for them.

I've always thought that it was a very good answer. Not that anybody would've wondered or not understood it, if she'd simply answered with yes.

I think itís a fantastic answer, and thank you for sharing it.  Star

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GoodGollyMissMolly

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« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2020, 12:27:43 AM »

I canít speak for Belgium, but the statues in the US should have never been put up in the first place and were only done so post reconstruction and in the early part of the CRM to intimidate black people from figuring for more rights. The Daughters of the Confederacy had an entire agenda that also included changing text books.

Also, race based slavery was legal from 1619 to 1888 (Brazil being the last country to end it). The ramifications from race based slavery are still affecting black people to this very day. Because when people like the DotC couldnít own us, they made us criminals, savages, jezebels, and degenerates in the eyes of the rest of the world - and that race based slavery is very reason why Leopold was able to get away with his BS 20 years after slavery had been outlawed.

Why should a man who actively supported atrocities like the ones below have a statue? Itís bad enough his direct descendants are out here trying to play down what he did (looking at you Laurent)



A man in the Congo looking at the hands of his daughter - after she was punished because he didnít make his rubber quota. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she was only 4 years Old.

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« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2020, 12:53:55 AM »

I canít speak for Belgium, but the statues in the US should have never been put up in the first place and were only done so post reconstruction and in the early part of the CRM to intimidate black people from figuring for more rights. The Daughters of the Confederacy had an entire agenda that also included changing text books.

Also, race based slavery was legal from 1619 to 1888 (Brazil being the last country to end it). The ramifications from race based slavery are still affecting black people to this very day. Because when people like the DotC couldnít own us, they made us criminals, savages, jezebels, and degenerates in the eyes of the rest of the world - and that race based slavery is very reason why Leopold was able to get away with his BS 20 years after slavery had been outlawed.

Why should a man who actively supported atrocities like the ones below have a statue? Itís bad enough his direct descendants are out here trying to play down what he did (looking at you Laurent)



A man in the Congo looking at the hands of his daughter - after she was punished because he didnít make his rubber quota. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she was only 4 years Old.


Or that they keep the prizes of such terror and atrocity.  Do the right thing.  Hand the jewels back.  They were never yours to take, Belgium.

Same goes for the British royals.  Hand back the jewels of India (e.g. the Koh-i-Noor Diamond).  They were never yours to take.
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« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2020, 02:14:09 AM »

I canít speak for Belgium, but the statues in the US should have never been put up in the first place and were only done so post reconstruction and in the early part of the CRM to intimidate black people from figuring for more rights. The Daughters of the Confederacy had an entire agenda that also included changing text books.

Also, race based slavery was legal from 1619 to 1888 (Brazil being the last country to end it). The ramifications from race based slavery are still affecting black people to this very day. Because when people like the DotC couldnít own us, they made us criminals, savages, jezebels, and degenerates in the eyes of the rest of the world - and that race based slavery is very reason why Leopold was able to get away with his BS 20 years after slavery had been outlawed.

Why should a man who actively supported atrocities like the ones below have a statue? Itís bad enough his direct descendants are out here trying to play down what he did (looking at you Laurent)



A man in the Congo looking at the hands of his daughter - after she was punished because he didnít make his rubber quota. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she was only 4 years Old.


Or that they keep the prizes of such terror and atrocity.  Do the right thing.  Hand the jewels back.  They were never yours to take, Belgium.

Same goes for the British royals.  Hand back the jewels of India (e.g. the Koh-i-Noor Diamond).  They were never yours to take.

I fully agree. Give the diamonds back or pay whatever price those countries set for them if they decide theyíd rather take cash for them instead.
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« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2020, 03:18:26 AM »

I canít speak for Belgium, but the statues in the US should have never been put up in the first place and were only done so post reconstruction and in the early part of the CRM to intimidate black people from figuring for more rights. The Daughters of the Confederacy had an entire agenda that also included changing text books.

Also, race based slavery was legal from 1619 to 1888 (Brazil being the last country to end it). The ramifications from race based slavery are still affecting black people to this very day. Because when people like the DotC couldnít own us, they made us criminals, savages, jezebels, and degenerates in the eyes of the rest of the world - and that race based slavery is very reason why Leopold was able to get away with his BS 20 years after slavery had been outlawed.

Why should a man who actively supported atrocities like the ones below have a statue? Itís bad enough his direct descendants are out here trying to play down what he did (looking at you Laurent)



A man in the Congo looking at the hands of his daughter - after she was punished because he didnít make his rubber quota. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she was only 4 years Old.


Or that they keep the prizes of such terror and atrocity.  Do the right thing.  Hand the jewels back.  They were never yours to take, Belgium.

Same goes for the British royals.  Hand back the jewels of India (e.g. the Koh-i-Noor Diamond).  They were never yours to take.

ITA
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« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2020, 09:24:13 AM »

I canít speak for Belgium, but the statues in the US should have never been put up in the first place and were only done so post reconstruction and in the early part of the CRM to intimidate black people from figuring for more rights. The Daughters of the Confederacy had an entire agenda that also included changing text books.

Also, race based slavery was legal from 1619 to 1888 (Brazil being the last country to end it). The ramifications from race based slavery are still affecting black people to this very day. Because when people like the DotC couldnít own us, they made us criminals, savages, jezebels, and degenerates in the eyes of the rest of the world - and that race based slavery is very reason why Leopold was able to get away with his BS 20 years after slavery had been outlawed.

Why should a man who actively supported atrocities like the ones below have a statue? Itís bad enough his direct descendants are out here trying to play down what he did (looking at you Laurent)

A man in the Congo looking at the hands of his daughter - after she was punished because he didnít make his rubber quota. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she was only 4 years Old.



This is such a good point, Molly. There's a huge difference between a statue of an oppressor and a monument to the oppressed. If you want to teach people about slavery, what would be more effective, more meaningful? We remember the crimes of the Nazis in part because successive generations have preserved the ruins of concentration camps and created new monuments honouring the victims, not because towns and cities carefully preserve and display statues of Hitler which merely remind people of his dates of office and the fact that he revamped Germany's road network.

In Britain (again, a bit off topic) there's a big correlation between those who believe that statues of slave owners should stay up because HISTORY but have blocked all efforts to build a national memorial to the victims of slavery. People tried to block construction of the Museum of Slavery in Liverpool for 'over emphasising' Britain's role in the slave trade.

The fact that these statues have stood for so long with so many people ignorant of the crimes committed by those depicted shows that on their own, statues don't do much to teach history. the last couple of monmths, no matter how scary, have done far more to centre debates about colonial legacy in Britain, Belgium and other countries.
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« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2020, 10:30:24 AM »

In the Netherlands the abolishment of slavery is remembered nationally every year (since 2009), by means of Keti Koti (of Surinamese origin).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keti_Koti


In the Netherlands, Ketikoti has been celebrated in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam since 2009. Since July 1, 2002 there is the National Monument Slavery Past.

The National monument slavery past is a monument in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam commemorating the abolition of slavery in the Dutch Kingdom. The initiative was taken in 1999 by the National Slavery Past Platform, which later resulted in the National Institute for Dutch Slavery Past and Legacy. From five designs, that of the Surinamese artist Erwin de Vries was chosen. The monument was unveiled on July 1, 2002 by then Queen Beatrix. An annual gathering takes place at the monument on 1 July to commemorate the abolition of slavery by the Netherlands on 1 July 1863 (Ketikoti). Since 2013, there is also a monument commemorating slavery in Rotterdam. It is placed in the Lloydkwartier on the bank of the Nieuwe Maas, where many slave traders once left for Africa with their ship.


The National Institute of Slavery History and Legacy (NiNsee) organizes a program around Ketikoti every month in June, including the annual 'Keti Koti Lecture'.

Amsterdam:


The monument consists of three parts. It depicts the past (the dramatic history of slavery), the present (breaking the wall of resistance) and the future (the drive for freedom and a better future).


Rotterdam:


The monument is made of corten steel and hot-dip galvanized steel and has a length of 900 centimeters, a height of 450 centimeters and a width of 120 centimeters. The sculpture has the shape of a stylized ship, on top of which figures dance towards their freedom. The first of the four dancing slaves is still completely chained and the last - dancing - has completely broken loose.


Besides these two, there is some other monuments about the slavery in the Netherlands.

Also in Amsterdam:
The Tree of Life, Monument of Realization (Bon Fu Gron Prakseri) is a monument commemorating the slavery past, the abolition of Dutch slavery and the solidarity of the countries that belonged to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The monument is located on Surinameplein in Amsterdam West.




In the city of Middelburg (capital of the Dutch province of Zeeland):
The Zeeland Slavery Monument is a monument commemorating the abolition of slavery, erected in the Dutch city of Middelburg. The place of the monument was at the time of slavery the center of the business operations of the Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie where offices, warehouses, warehouses and boardrooms were located all around On July 2, 2005, the monument was unveiled on the Balans. This was a day later (on July 1, 1863, slavery was abolished) to enable as many interested people as possible to be at both the national commemoration and in Middelburg.The monument consists of four granite columns, two of which are white and two are black. The columns are held together by a red stripe. This symbolizes black and white people who have a red heart and red blood in common.  The columns are located in a circular basin with a diameter of eight meters.





In 1621 the West India Company was founded in Amsterdam and had its headquarters in Amsterdam. Under the leadership of the West India Company, Amsterdam ships sailed to Africa where they took slaves to Latin America, exchanged for sugar that they brought back to Amsterdam, among other things.
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