|Me, leaving my mark on Lennon Wall (totally legal )|
|The walls of the synagogue covered with names|
|A close up of the synagogue wall. Each name represents a life taken by the Nazis|
A freed people didn't want to honor the Soviet Tank Crew, nor the military state that held them hostage, yet the tank monument wasn't removed. Instead it was painted pink by an art student under the blanket of night! The shape of the tank told one chapter of history, and the updated surface treatment told another. The government that had terrorized them for decades was now left impotent as their deadly weapon was harmless. The monument now stands to memorialize the Velvet Revolution.
|The monument to the survivors of communism|
The monument includes numbers such as:
- 205,486 arrested
- 170,938 forced into exile
- 4,500 died in prison
- 327 shot trying to escape
- 248 executed
|My brother and husband helping a woman up the monument|
|Me painting my Ellsworth family crest on Lennon Wall|
|Banksy's sketch of what the sculpture could become|
Here are few more things to consider:
The Complexity of the person represented in each monument: Did the good outweigh the bad? Did they repent of their wrongs? What are we remembering them for? Are we taking into account the time and culture from which they come? Are the parts of our heritage we're celebrating truly reflecting our values?
Originality: Some statues were mass produced, cheaply and are of poor quality. Does this matter?
Intent & context: What objective did the Daughters of the Confederacy, for example, have in commissioning their monuments and when did they erect them? What message did this send to Black citizens? What message did this send to white citizens? Can a plaque contextualizing the reason behind the monument help? Where is an appropriate (if any) place to show these?
Contemporary Perception: Is there a population of Americans who are intimidated or hurt by the message of a monument? Does it mock, minimize, or disregard the reality of a group of citizens?
Remembering: You can't erase history by tearing down monuments and sculptures, because tearing down sculptures (such Lenin, Stalin and Suddam Hussein) is exactly what marked some important turning points in history. Who can forget the fall of the Berlin Wall? I wonder if sometimes those who are busy making history are accused of erasing history by those who don't want their status in the present part of history to change. Those who say "History isn't there for you to like or dislike" are right. Some of this dismantling of outdated symbols is part of history, whether we like it our not.