This event explores the controversies around removing statues, constructing and reconstructing ‘heritage’, and protesting received ways of deciding what is commemorated, and what is not.
The speakers will examine the conflicts around the intellectual and cultural rethinking of public spaces and statues in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, the re-sacralization of Hagia Sofia/Aya Sofra, ongoing discussions about the ‘Fourth Plinth’ in Trafalgar Square, the caves at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia, and other examples. The event will involve a discussion of what it means to decide what, or whom, gets placed on a pedestal in a landscape in which heritage, and the investments in heritage, are shifting.
Asher Craig (@CllrAsherCraig) has over 30 years’ experience as a community activist, leader, management consultant and now politician. She has championed the needs of the voiceless, with a particular emphasis on the social-economic development of BME and under-represented communities. She has led and chaired a number of major partnerships and organisations at local, regional and national level and has worked in the field of employment & training, education & skills, recruitment, advocacy, equality & diversity within local government and third sector. Asher was elected as the Labour Councillor for the ward of St George West, Bristol in May 2016 and was appointed to the Cabinet with the wide reaching portfolio of Neighbourhoods in August 2016. In March 2017 Asher was asked to step into the new created role of Deputy Mayor for Communities, bringing into & elevating the issue of Public Health as part of this new portfolio. Asher is a school governor at Bristol Futures Academy, a board member of ASDAN, a curriculum development organisation and awarding body; the Skills Education Group and the Friends of Fairfield House. She is also the proud mother of 3 daughters.
Tatiana Flessas holds a BA in Philosophy from Wellesley College, a JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and an LLM and PhD from the London School of Economics. Before joining the LSE, she practiced law in the US and taught at the University of Reading School of Law. Her research interests are in cultural property and heritage law, law and social theory, and law and literature.
Jonathan Jones is a British art critic who has written for The Guardian since 1999. He has appeared in the BBC television series Private Life of a Masterpiece and in 2009 was a judge for the Turner Prize. He has also been a judge for the BP Portrait Award.
Sarah Keenan (@sarahjkeenan) completed her BA/LLB(Hons) at the Australian National University and her PhD at the University of Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality. She has worked as the associate for Justice Margaret Wilson of the Supreme Court of Queensland and as a solicitor at Prisoners' Legal Service before coming to academia. She has previously held academic posts at SOAS and the University of Oxford Brookes.
Luke McDonagh (@DrLukeMcDonagh) joined the Law Department at LSE in 2020. He undertakes research in the areas of Intellectual Property Law and Constitutional Law. Prior to taking up his position at LSE he was a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London (2015-2020), a Lecturer at Cardiff University (2013-2015) and LSE Fellow (2011-13). Luke holds a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London (2011), an LL.M from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (2006-7) and a B.C.L. degree from NUI, Galway (2002-05). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Siva Thambisetty (@SivaThambisetty) joined LSE in 2004 prior to which she was lecturing at University College London. She holds degrees from the National Law School of India and the University of Oxford where she completed the two-year BCL and DPhil (Exeter College). Dr Thambisetty was LSE’s Regional Champion for India during 2011-13 and is on the school’s South Asia Centre’s Faculty Advisory Board. She was a visiting fellow at Imperial College, London 2011-12. Dr Thambisetty was external examiner for the IP Diploma on Intellectual Property Rights, University of Oxford (2013-2017). She is currently a member of the Research Staff Committee and Research Ethics Committee. She has contributed to the law faculty’s efforts towards the Athena Swan Equality Charter Mark.
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Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEHeritage
Related articles by this event's speakers can be found here:
"We must face our history in Bristol, but also work to create a more equal future", by Councillor Asher Craig (2020).
"Statues are lies, selfies in bronze - and you can't bring history to life with a dead art", by Jonathan Jones (2020).
Visit Dr Tatiana Flessas's LSE profile here to explore her piece "Old Monuments, New Populations: thinking about the political lives of statues", and a "Letter from the RT Hon Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport".
Podcast & Video
A podcast of this event is available to download from Occupying the Pedestal: cultural heritage, protest, and the law.
A video of this event is available to watch at Occupying the Pedestal: cultural heritage, protest, and the law.
Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.