Much of the literature on public space focuses on physical inclusion and exclusion rather than social inclusion or exclusion. In this paper, the implications of this are considered in the context of two monuments, The Volunteers/Les Bénévoles, and The Emigrant, located outside the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. These monuments, while perhaps designed to celebrate Canadian multiculturalism, can be read instead as signaling Canada’s enduring commitment to white supremacy, Eurocentricity and colonization, when viewed through the eyes of racialized immigrants. Thus the “public space” becomes exclusionary. In the context in which the monuments are situated, the racial subtext cannot be ignored. This article purports that images, text and placement, regardless of intention, have significant implications on public space and public demeanor.
Essed, Philomena. Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory. Newbury Park, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications Inc. 1991.
Fanon, Franz. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press. 1952.
Ferdman, Bernardo M.; Avigdor, Avi; Braun, Deborah; Konkin, Jennifer; and Kuzmycz, Daniel. “Collective Experience of Inclusion, Diversity, and Performance in Work Groups.” Revista de Administração Mackenzie 11:3 (2010), 6-26
Ginty, Roger M. “The political use of symbols of accord and discord: Northern Ireland and South Africa.” Civil Wars 4:1 (2001), 1–21.
Harman, Graham. Immaterialism: Objects and Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2016.
Heller, Ansley. “Breaking Down the Symbols: Reading the Events at Charlottesville Through A Post-Colonial Lens.” Southeastern Geographer 58:1 (2018), 35-38.
Hilton Moore, Marlene. “The Volunteers/Les Benevoles.” Women’s History Society Monument at Halifax Pier 21. 2017.
Jackson Lears, T.J. “The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities,” The American Historical Review 90:3 (1985), 567-593.
Kamanzi, Brian. ““Rhodes Must Fall” – Decolonisation Symbolism – What is happening at UCT, South Africa?” The Post Colonialist (2015).
Karst, James. “The leaning tower of Lee: statue of Confederate general was encircled in controversy in 1953.” New Orleans, LA: The Times-Picayune (2017).
Keaton, Trica. “Au Negre Joyeux: Everyday Anti Blackness Guised as Public Art.” Journal of Contemporary African Art 38-39 (2016), 52-58.
Kingwell, Mark. “The Prison of “Public Space”.” Literary Review of Canada (April 2008).
Lehtinen, Sanna. “New Public Monuments: Urban Art and Everyday Aesthetic Experience.” Open Philosophy 2 (2019), 30-38.
Levine, Michael P. “Mediated Memories: The Politics of the Past.” Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 11:2 (2006),117-136.
Llorens, Hilda & Carrasquillo, Rosa E. “Sculpting Blackness: Representations of Black Puerto-Ricans in Public Art.” Visual Anthropology Review 24:2 (2008), 103-116.
Mashau, Thinandavha D. & Mangoedi, Leomile. “Faith communities, social exclusion, homelessness and disability: Transforming the margins in the City of Tshwane.” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 71:3 (2015), 3088-3096.
Milan, Anne & Tran, Kelly. “Blacks in Canada: A long history.” Canadian Social Trends (Spring 2004).
Miller, Frederick A. “Strategic Culture Change: The Door to Achieving High Performance and Inclusion” Public Personnel Management 27:2 (1998), 151-160.
Miller, Sonia. Aldo Rossi: The City as the Locus of Collective Memory and the Making of the Public City in Cold War Italy. Master’s Thesis in Art and Art History. 2017.
Nelson, Jennifer. Razing Africville: A Geography of Racism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2008.
Resane, Kelebogile T. “Statues, symbols and signages: Monuments towards socio-political divisions, dominance and patriotism?” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 74:4 (2018), 4895.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: New York Times Company. 1978.
Shore, Lynn M., Randel, Amy E., Chung, Beth G., Dean, Michelle A., Holcombe Ehrhart, K., and Singh, Gangaram. “Inclusion and Diversity in Work Groups: A Review and Model for Future Research.” Journal of Management 37:4 (2010), 1262-1289.
Slattery, Patrick. “Deconstructing Racism One Statue at a Time: Visual Culture Wars at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin.” Visual Arts Research 32:2 (2006), 28-31.
Walton, Kendall L. “Categories of Art.” The Philosophical Review 79:3 (1970), 334-367.
Willard, Mary Beth. “When Public Art Goes Bad: Two Competing Features of Public Art.” Open Philosophy 2 (2019), 1-9.
Open Philosophy is an international Open Access, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all areas of philosophy. The objective of Open Philosophy is to foster free exchange of ideas and provide an appropriate platform for presenting, discussing and disseminating new concepts, current trends, theoretical developments and research findings related to the broadest philosophical spectrum.