Saturday 26 September, 2020

'Bussa' statue wows Twitter with its powerful symbolism

The Emancipation Statue in Barbados.

The Emancipation Statue in Barbados.

The Emancipation Statue at the JTC Ramsay Roundabout in Barbados has sparked intense discussion on Twitter about the importance of slave resistance in the Caribbean.

New York-based activist, Samuel Sinyangwe, posted two photos of the Emancipation Statue on his Twitter account yesterday with the comment,"First day in Barbados and we drove past this monument three times. I've never seen anything like it."

According to Sinyangwe, the tendency in the US is to commemorate slave owners and their legacy, whereas there is little celebrating black resistance.

He continued:

"It's displayed prominently. I saw it three times the first day I was there. And I realised I've never seen anything like it in America. In my entire life I've never seen any monument that symbolised the power of black liberation in the way this statue does. By design."

He later added, "The story of abolition in America is completely whitewashed, erasing the efforts of black people who dared to resist in so many ways. The fact the conversation in US is about keeping/taking down pro-slavery monuments, not building anti-slavery monuments, speaks volumes."

The post received over 10,000 likes and more than 4,600 retweets.

It also sparked a lengthy thread where Twitters users shared similar statues found in other Western slave societies, including Jamaica, Haiti, St Martin, Colombia and Brazil.

Many on the thread were awed by the powerful imagery in the photos.

The Emancipation Statue, commonly known as the Bussa Statue, was done in 1985 by eminent Barbadian sculptor, Karl Broodhagen. It symbolises National Hero 'Bussa', who led a slave rebellion on the island in 1816.

Check out some of the images shared on Sinyangwe's Twitter thread:

Emancipation statues in the Caribbean

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