BLM protestor statue replaces that of a slave trader in England
Jen Reid’s statue erected in Bristol was removed just 24 hours after its installment.
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The statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, England was replaced with a sculpture of one of the Black Lives Matter protesters who took him down.
The sculpture is of Jen Reid, who was photographed standing with her fist raised on the same plinth where Colston’s statue was toppled by protesters last month.
Her figure was erected at dawn by a team directed by Marc Quinn, a well known British artist, who was inspired to create the piece after seeing the photograph of Reid with her fist raised during protests.
Arriving before 5 am, Quinn’s team of ten people worked quickly to install Reid’s figure, who said she’d been working on the idea with Quinn secretly for weeks.
A cardboard placard with the words “black lives still matter” was placed at the bottom of the plinth.
Reid told The Guardian that the most amazing part of it all was “watching children stand next to it and raising their firsts. Black children and white children, together.”
This new black resin and steel figure, entitled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, was transported from Quinn’s studio on Tuesday and stored overnight nearby. It was mounted using a hydraulic crane truck parked next to the plinth.
Quinn told USA Today he had not intended the statue as “a permanent solution to what should be there. It’s a spark which we hope will bring continued attention to this vital and pressing issue.”
Reid said she worked with Quinn on the piece because it represented her taking a stand for her mother, her daughter and all Black people like her.
“It’s about Black children, seeing it up there. It’s something to feel proud of, to have a sense of belonging, because we actually do belong here and we’re not going anywhere,” she said.
Quinn said in a statement on his website that the statue was put up without formal consent from authorities in Bristol.
“What is installed on the pedestal must be decided by the people of Bristol,” Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol, said in a statement.
He also said that a process has been established to “manage this journey.”
Just 24 hours after it was erected, the statue of Jen Reid was removed by authorities.
“I prefer to say we’re not taking down the statue of a Black Lives Matter protester, we are taking down the work of a London-based artist who erected it without permission and without any conversation with the city,” Mayor Reeves told Sky News.
Quinn has stated that if his artwork is sold that he will donate the proceeds to two organizations that promote Black history.