Empty Spaces: Where are the Statues to Imperial Victims?

In the midst of a revolution against problematic historical statues, we might reflect on the statues that do not exist. Although the UK abounds in memorials dedicated to its achievements and conquests, it lacks self-reflective memorials of events in which it was the guilty party. This is not because the histories of the UK and British Empire are void of guilt; on the contrary, the British Empire had a hand in many terrible historical events, some of which can be defined as genocide.[1] Yet, these events are not memorialized.

This article looks at how the UK has been keen to memorialize others’ bad choices, but seems blind in respect to its own. This concept is neatly demonstrated by the attention given to Holocaust memorialization in the UK, in contrast to the complete lack of memorialization to any event in which the UK is seen in a bad light. The Holocaust Exhibition in the Imperial War Museum in London provides a great case study.