Kara Walker’s “Fons Americanus” sculpture at the Tate (pre-lockdown) is resonant in light of the current debate on the inherent power imbued in monuments and the articulation of histories, triggering disagreement as to whether their removal erases or contributes to historical narrative. The Black Lives Matter protests have galvanised public attention to the issue, ignited by the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston from Bristol Harbour. Kara Walker has created alternative monuments as a dialogue on the years of colonial rule and the wealth of nations built on the slave trade.
Image, Tate Modern 2019. Photo: © Tate (Matt Greenwood)
See the Tate video where Kara discusses her work: