Join an afternoon roundtable and workshops in photography, poetry or campaign skills probing the history of Imperial statues in Britain, including those on the front of Deptford Town Hall of Sir Francis Drake, Horatio Nelson and Robert Blake. Learn about the connections between those commemorated and the rise of slavery and the British capitalist empire.

How do statues of figures connected to the slave trade and British colonisation symbolise British history and culture? Are they part of ‘invented traditions’ of national belonging based on racial domination? What does it mean about our present society that so many of them remain in place, uncontested? Why don’t local residents have more democratic say about our symbolic urban landscape? What can we do about it?

Come and join the debate about, and creative responses to the future of such statues. Should they remain, or are there more creative and inspiring ways to reimagine our multiracial history and culture?

This event is part of Being Human Festival, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, taking place 9–18 November 2023.

Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with generous support from Research England, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information please see

Register for a free workshop following the roundtable (links below to more info), running consecutively from 3-5pm.