More honesty and fewer statues - Gary Younge debates how we remember and who
Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Arts and Humanities
Last updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2022
Gary Younge, the award-winning author and broadcaster will be concluding the second Sussex Festival of Ideas with a keynote talk entitled “Not set in stone: Why we need more honesty and fewer statues” at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts on Wednesday 30 March at 4 pm.. This will build on the article he wrote in The Guardian last year when he considered whether all statues should be taken down.
The ideology of statues and monuments gained sharp visibility in the UK following the toppling of the figure of Edward Colston in Bristol in 2020, as part of Black Lives Matter protests. Social justice movements have long campaigned for new or different public monuments, from the first woman in Parliament Square to animals made to serve in war, while artists have diversified style and concept, including with experiments on Trafalgar Square’s rotating ‘fourth plinth’. How and in what ways should we commemorate, and are we missing the point in seeking to erect new statues?
Gary Younge is an award-winning author, broadcaster and a professor of sociology at the University of Manchester in England. Formerly a columnist at The Guardian he is an editorial board member of the Nation magazine and the Alfred Knobler Fellow for Type Media. He has written five books: Another Day in the Death of America, A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives; The Speech, The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream; Who Are We?, And Should it Matter in the 21st century; Stranger in a Strange Land, Travels in the Disunited States and No Place Like Home, A Black Briton’s Journey Through the Deep South. He has also written for The New York Review of Books, Granta, GQ, The Financial Times and The New Statesman and made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from gay marriage to Brexit.
Responding to Professor Younge’s talk will be Dr Victoria Walden, Senior Lecturer in Media. The event will be chaired by Dr Naaz Rashid, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies.
The event is free of charge and open to all from across the University community. Booking is essential using the Attenborough Centre website. Drinks and nibbles will be available in the ACCA café/bar afterwards.
The Sussex Festival of Ideas is a dynamic and engaging programme of talks, events and activities, from the School of Media, Arts and Humanities. The two-day programme on 29 and 30 March will explore Ukraine’s cultural politics, black identities and the countryside, irreverent responses to inequality and exploitation within the cultural industries, the visual cultures of Instagram, cultural mediations of climate change, media coverage of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, the new visibility of menopausal life and politics, and the work of film pioneer Jill Craigie. All events are free and open to all with no booking required.
**Please note that one of our speakers is immuno-deficient and has requested that attendees wear masks.**