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Event | Finding Repair in a Small Place: The Decommissioning of Lord Horatio Nelson in Barbados

October 28, 2021
6:00pm – 8:00pm EDT
RSVP Here.

CLACS Working Group on Racisms in Comparative Perspective presents Finding Repair in a Small Place: The Decommissioning of Lord Horatio Nelson in Barbados by Zaira Simone-Thompson.


“In this presentation, I explore how the decommissioning of a British “colonial hero” captures some of the ways justice is envisioned in Barbados–a “small place” that has performed an outsized, region-wide role in contemporary demands for reparative justice. I discuss how the removal of Lord Nelson’s statue in 2020 builds on regional demands for reparations from former colonial powers and Barbados struggle for sovereignty. Reading the aesthetic performances of the ceremony, the prime minister’s speech, and including the commentary of viewers, I ask how does the decommissioning generate more attention to the reparations question? How are repair and sovereignty conceptualized through these performances? More important, can decommissionings envisioned as reparative acts bring us to emancipation?”

Zaira Simone-Thompson is a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the African American Studies department. A geographer, her work and teaching centers on contemporary experiences and representations of slavery, colonialism, and uneven development in the Caribbean. Her dissertation, “A Discursive Geography of Repair: Exploring Regional and National Claims for Reparative Justice in the Caribbean” examines the symbolic and material forces of reparative claims in Barbados.

This event will be held in person and virtually. In-person attendance is limited to NYU Students, Faculty, and Staff only. For any questions or concerns, please email clacs@nyu.edu.

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