The Current Destruction of Statues: The Baden-Powell Sculpture

6/12/2020

There has been an ongoing and intended toppling of statues, monuments, and sculptures of famous people who were thought to have facilitated what is being fought today; racism against the black people. Two of the famous British statues and sculptures that have been affected by these movements are those of Edward Colston and Robert Baden-Powell, according to Parveen, Trait, Sabbagh, and Dodd (2020). Parveen et al. (2020) reported that Colston’s statue in Bristol has already been toppled, while Baden-Powell’s statue has been accorded 24-hour security after protesters indicated they would topple it. The two sculptures are very monumental and are a greater part of Briton’s history. The two statues tell a lot of history about the Britons, which indicates why they were put up.
Colston’s statues present Bristol city as the heart of the slave trade during the 17th and 18th centuries, considering that the person honored by the sculpture was the kingpin of the slave trade during this period. This statue’s effect on society is that it reminded Bristol of the high number of slaves who were transported from the West Coast of Africa to Britain through the port of Bristol. The statue shows Bristol’s people the kind of people who lived in the port city before the banning of the slave trade and before most of the African countries gained their independence. Colston’s legacy is linked to Bristol’s history, and putting up the statue in this area was a way of reminding the people that their current habitat was the heartbeat of slavery and the slave trade. The sculpture’s effect on society goes a long way in reminding Bristol people how their city was built by the initial inhabitants of the port. The statue serves the purpose of showing the current society that Bristol could not have developed as a city had the forefathers of the region not engaged in the acrimonious activities of the slave trade. By being labeled as the father of Bristol port city, putting up a sculpture for Colston is a way of telling the people that they live in a city built from the proceeding of the slave trade. Most likely, the person who put up Colston’s sculpture intended to indirectly warn the people against engaging in activities that harm the underprivileged part of society as it led to the failings of the people not being forgotten throughout history.
The Baden-Powell sculpture erected at Poole has a lot of effects on the society living around. Essentially, this sculpture reminds the people of Poole that their forefathers committed atrocities against humanity and how they supported homophobia. Baden-Powell’s sculpture serves as a reminder to the society about the person who committed atrocities against the Zulus when serving the military in South Africa. Resultantly, the statue sends a message to the people on the need to respect humanity. Essentially, the statue serves the same purpose as giving a person wanted by the police a full-page coverage in the dailies. Baden-Powell’s statue is significant to society as it highlights some of the people who negatively wrote world history. Essentially, a statue such as that of Baden-Powell is a signal to the people on how engaging in inhumane behavior could negatively affect the world population and global development in general.

References

Parveen, N., Tait, R., Sabbagh, D., & Dodd, V. (2020). Tensions rise over race and heritage as more statues are attacked. the Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/11/fears-of-violence-stop-london-racism-protest-as-statue-attacks-continue.

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