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    Monuments and racist heritage in public spaces: adoption of an ambitious action plan | City of Geneva

    This action plan ensures a balanced, nuanced and fact-based treatment of this issue. It demonstrates the desire of the Administrative Council to fulfill its duty of memory. Accounting for all facets of History is for the benefit of the entire population, and in particular of the people who still suffer, today, the consequences of this heritage, including the prejudices and discrimination that result from it. . The majority of actions must be carried out by 2025.

    Shining a light on a neglected history

    Far from the fears sometimes expressed on the subject, this action plan makes it possible to highlight a neglected history, and to report on his harmful impact for a section of the population. Sami Kanaan recalls that he wanted to launch this approach “to respond to the City’s duty to recognize this problematic heritage, and to question, in a nuanced and factual manner, the tributes paid in public space to certain historical figures” .

    If the transversal actionswhich affect the entire theme, are privileged, of the actions targeted at individual historical figures will also be carried out.

    For Alfonso Gomez, “The actions selected are intended to be symbolically strong, transformative of the public space and must offer the public, in a lasting manner, contextualization and general awareness of our History. During key moments of their implementation, the City will collaborate with associations active on the subject.”

    Priority to context

    The action plan does not in principle plan to remove monuments identified to date from public space, nor to rename controversial places.

    The Administrative Council thus favors actions of re-contextualization. They consist of aprovide information about the place of homage itself. They allow us to put it in context and return to the sometimes multiple heritage of the figure concerned.

    At the same time, the Executive intends, through a memorial, pay tribute to the victims of slavery and colonization, And commemorate alternative historical figuresmost of the time invisible.

    In the case of Carl Vogt, one of the main subjects of controversy in Geneva, the City wishes to examine, in collaboration with the University of Geneva, the question of its location, historically located in front of the Bastions university building, from here the end of the renovation work on the building.

    A broad thought process

    The action plan is the concretization of a broad reflection process initiated in autumn 2020, as part of Sami Kanaan’s year as mayor.

    It was developed by the City of Geneva, on the basis of a study by professors Mohamedou & Rodogno of the Institute of Advanced International and Development Studies (IHEID)published in March 2022. It lists the controversial tributes present in the territory of the city of Geneva.

    A working group made up of representatives of associations directly concerned by the problem (Sankofa association, Afro-Swiss CollectiveCollective for decolonial reflection, African People’s University in Switzerland), academic circles, the heritage sector (Patrimoine Suisse Geneva) and the municipal administration was consulted. The Administrative Council salutes their commitment and their essential contribution to the discussions.

    Since 2020, around fifteen actions aimed at the public have been carried out on the theme. Among those:

    • the development of a application mapping the controversial tributes identified in the 2022 study,
    • round tables,
    • support for an audio documentary series dedicated to the subject,
    • or guided tours on the history of controversial figures honored in the city of Geneva.

    Since May 3, 2024, and until January 5, 2025, the temporary exhibition “Memoirs. Geneva in the colonial world“.

    We acknowledge Source link for the information.



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