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article imageSlaver's statue comes down — A Black Lives Matter statue arises

By Karen Graham     Jul 15, 2020 in World
A figure of a Black Lives Matter protester has appeared on the plinth previously occupied by the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, UK. The slave trader's statue was torn down by protesters last month and thrown into the harbor.
On June 7, Digital Journal reported that protesters in Bristol, UK, inspired by America's George Floyd demonstrations, toppled a bronze statue of Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader, who has been a source of controversy in the city for many years.
Jen Reid, a Black Lives Matter protester, was photographed by her husband, standing on the plinth with her fist raised after Edward Colston's statue was torn down. That photograph has now been immortalized in a black resin and steel statue created by the artist Mark Quinn and erected at dawn on Wednesday, according to the BBC.
Marc Quinn, whose works include his “blood head” self-portrait Self and a sculpture of an artist that temporarily occupied the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, Alison Lapper Pregnant – said he viewed it as a duty for prominent white artists to amplify other voices.
He calls the black resin statue "A Surge of Power," adding that it was meant to continue the conversation about racism. “Jen created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air,” said Quinn, reports The Guardian. “Now we’re crystallizing it.”
According to Reid, after seeing the image posted on social media by her husband of her standing on the plinth with her fist raised during the Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, Quinn contacted him and in turn, contacted Ms. Reid.
Reid said, "I was in his studio by the Friday after the protest with 201 cameras surrounding me, taking pictures of me from every conceivable angle. That went into a 3D print and a mold was made." She also says the sculpture is important because it will "keep the journey towards racial justice and equality moving".
"This sculpture is about making a stand for my mother, for my daughter, for black people like me."
Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, who had previously called the statue of Colston "an affront", said the new sculpture "was not requested and permission was not given for it to be installed".
"The future of the plinth and what is installed on it must be decided by the people of Bristol," he said. But he stopped short of saying that the council would act to remove it.
But the mayor did add, "We need change. In leading that change we have to find a pace that brings people with us. There is an African proverb that says if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."
More about Bristol England, black lives matter, slave trader, 'Jen Reid, Marc Quinn
 
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