Who should bring monuments down? Agency and the politics of memory in public space.

  • Termin: Tue, 11. January 2022, 19:00 Uhr
  • Leitung: Prof. Dr Jürgen Manemann
  • Ort: online via Zoom

Fellow-Vortrag Moira Pérez Ph.D.

The global movement against monuments commemorating controversial historical figures saw a sharp rise in 2020, when statues of slave traders, colonialists and white supremacists were torn down or vandalized throughout Europe and the Americas. Debates surrounding these initiatives focused mostly on whether or not such figures should be removed, on the relevance of heritage preservation in these cases, and on the distinction between "erasing" history and rewriting it from a counterhegemonic perspective. Mean-while, discussions on who should bring monuments down, or participate in decisions regarding historical representation in public space, were less frequent, albeit equally important. If participation in representations of the past is an important element of epistemic and political inclusion, and interventions in public art are understood as a form of exercising democracy, then the issue of agency in the removal of statues is central to how historically marginalized collectives are included, or not, in citizenship and society. What can the different cases witnessed in 2020 teach us about agency and the implications of the various forms of managing the politics of memory? In this presentation, I will build on contemporary reflections from political philosophy and epistemology of historiography to address the question of agency in this transnational movement that is literally shaking our history.

Moira Pérez holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and she is a Researcher at the Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research. Her research draws on contemporary philosophy of history, political philosophy and social epistemology to explore the interplay between identity and violence, with a particular fo-cus on epistemic and institutional violence. As a Fellow at FIPH, she explores the debates surrounding monuments and the representation of controversial historical figures in public space.


Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/91846088353