The first two episodes of the series cover the “monument crisis” -- a struggle for symbolic recognition of black lives in public spaces which emerged in the context of broader protest movements such as “Black Lives Matter”. Drawing from their research and personal experiences, our guests reflect on the so-called “monument crisis”. They take us on a journey from Eastern Europe, to Africa, Italy, the United States and, of course, the UK. We talk about the parallels between de-communization and decolonisation, the new nostalgia for socialism, commemorative practices in interwar Tanganyika and post-colonial Tanzania, the concept of “vandalism”, Churchill, and more broadly, about questions of public history, memory and heritage in the shadow of the Black lives matter movement.
Episode 1: Democracy and Violence
Guests: Carlo Invernizzi Accetti (Associate Professor of Political Theory at CUNY, New York); Nausikaa El-Mecky (Professor of Art History at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona).
Episode 2: Decommunisation and Decolonisation
Guests: Michal Murawski (Lecturer in Critical Area Studies, UCL SSEES, London);
Alma Simba (UG student in International History at LSE, London, and Editor of Lacuna Lit literary magazine).
This episode discusses the fate of monuments from interwar Tanganyika to modern Britain, looks at Black Lives Matter through the lens of African socialism and at Soviet communism as a form of Russian hegemony, analyses why the "Leninopads" in Ukraine preceded "Rhodes must fall" in South Africa and Britain, and raises the question to what extent a new nostalgia for socialism may be emerging.