Response to new art work in front of Edward Colston statue

I have to speak up and say I find this anonymous art installation pretty offensive. Without the words I feel this would be a perfect response to the Colston statue, the shadow cast as a slave ship. With the words however it’s problematic. There is no comparison between the workers mentioned in the art piece, and being enslaved in the plantations in in the era of Transatlantic slavery.

Modern day slave trafficking is abborant and deserves its place to be discussed and work towards eradication. Placing it in context however with transatlantic slavery, with putting the modern context on a slave ship, is insulting as that was a completely different experience on vastly different proportions. It is a comparison many people try to make but it is ill informed and over simplistic.

I am not getting into the business of judging and scoring oppression, as all forms of exploitation is wrong, whether historic or contemporary. Comparing oppression however is a crass and insulting, and in my humble opinion not to be applauded or encouraged.

Edward Colston art response Shawn Sobers opinion piece - see Beyond Project blog

Thanks to Yuko Edwards and Caine Tayo Lewin-Turner who I had quick Reasonings with today that helped form my thoughts.

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