HE announces ‘Immortalised’: A hunt for the nation’s secret, forgotten or unknown memorial 

peopleHistoric England (HE) has launched ‘Immortalised’, a campaign to help England explore who and how it remembers, as the nation’s statues and monuments come under increasing scrutiny. Whether heroic, quirky, sad, inspirational or challenging, the public are asked to share their knowledge of local monuments, street shrines, and community tributes in public places.

image HE website

HE writes:

  • Historic England launches Immortalised – a new season to help England explore who and how it remembers, as the nation’s statues and monuments come under increasing scrutiny
  • Heroic, quirky, sad, inspirational and challenging – public asked to share their knowledge of local monuments, street shrines, and community tributes in  public places
  • New research shows 1 in 7 (14%) women and 1 in 10 (10%) men have created a memorial of their own
  • Research uncovers generational differences in attitudes to England’s public monuments and statues – younger people less likely to think they represent ‘those who have made a significant contribution to our history’

Murals and shrines, statues, inscriptions on benches and trees, Historic England is asking the public to share their knowledge of England’s secret, unknown and forgotten memorials.

We want photographs and information about lesser-known memorials, and those that are well-loved by small groups or communities but unknown nationally. We are also looking for rituals and activities attached to memorials.

The public’s stories and pictures will be recorded to form part of an exhibition in the Autumn. The best examples of community memorials may be listed as part of our efforts to protect and champion what’s special in the historic environment.

Immortalised season launched
The hunt is part of Immortalised, a season launched today by Historic England to help people explore the country’s memorial landscape – who is reflected, who is missing, and why. It will include events, an exhibition, a debate and a design competition.

A series of well-documented challenges to the memorials of figures including Cecil Rhodes and Edward Colston, and the absence of representations of women and people of colour from statues in our cities and squares has brought the subject to the fore in recent months.

The historian and commentator David Olusoga has dubbed recent rows ‘the history wars’. Olusoga has been named as one of the participants in a live debate that is being organised by Intelligence Squared as part of Immortalised, in partnership with Historic England.

The event, ‘Revere or Remove? The Battle Over Statues, Heritage and History’ will take place on 14 May 2018. Tickets can be purchased at www.intelligencesquared.com

New memorials are currently appearing in England’s cities, including a number to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage and a new permanent memorial in Manchester to the Peterloo Massacre……..

How we remember
From flowers left at the Alan Turing statue in Manchester on his birthday, to the annual service on the pavement beneath Oliver Cromwell in Westminster, a number of statues and memorials have regular rituals attached to them that keep their stories alive.

Researchers for the exhibition are particularly interested in finding out information about the way ordinary people and communities create unofficial memorials that become part of our collective memory and part of a place’s identity………

New YouGov poll on public attitudes to memorials
New research by YouGov for Historic England has shown that one in seven (14%) women in England and one in ten (10%) men have created a memorial of their own. And despite recent ‘history wars’ and calls for more representation of women, the majority (70%) of the public say that the people represented by our public monuments reflect those who have made a significant contribution to our history.

However, there is a marked difference in attitude between older and younger people; almost twice as many people aged 18-24 (20%) say they disagree that our public monuments represent those who have made a significant contribution as those aged 55+ (12%)………..

Read more…. and suggest a memorial

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