Monuments and placenames across Glasgow’s urban fabric give an insight into the cultural hegemony of a past era, celebrating the city’s now unsavoury links with the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The city actively distanced itself from its past, creating a historical narrative that led to a ‘cultural amnesia’, whether wilful or not. In the words of Celeste-Marie Bernier, ‘Dead men and women tell no tales. It is the victors that tell the tales’. In the city of Glasgow, there is only evidence of the Victors of Slavery.
With a now changed social consciousness nearly 200 years after the abolition of slavery, how do we address historical references that put Glasgow’s blurred, often hidden, involvement with the slave trade on a misleading pedestal.