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Statue of Anti-Racism Protester Placed on Edward Colston Plinth in Bristol

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The plinth in Bristol from which a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled had a new statue in place early on July 15, depicting an anti-racism protester.

Artist Marc Quinn created the piece, entitled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, based on an image he had seen on Instagram of local resident Jen Reid, who stood on the empty plinth with her fist raised after protesters had toppled the Colston statue in June.

A statement on his website said:

“My friend… showed me a picture on Instagram of Jen standing on the plinth in Bristol with her fist in a Black Power salute. My first, instant thought was how incredible it would be to make a sculpture of her, in that instant. It is such a powerful image, of a moment I felt had to be materialised, forever. I contacted Jen via social media to discuss the idea of the sculpture and she told me she wanted to collaborate.”

Reid said that she’d been on her way home from the protests in June when she “felt an overwhelming impulse to climb onto the plinth, just completely driven to do it by the events which had taken place right before. Seeing the statue of Edward Colston being thrown into the river felt like a truly historical moment.”

Creating the sculpture, she said, was “important as it helps keep the journey towards racial justice and equity moving.”

The statue of Edward Colston was torn down and pushed into Bristol Harbour by protesters on June 7.

The new statue has not been approved by Bristol Council, and was installed around 5 am on July 15, Bristol Live said. No official plan has yet been announced for the plinth. Credit: Rebecca Ruth Gould/@rrgould via Storyful