The recent protester-initiated takedown of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol (due to his affiliation with slave trade) has sparked much debate, forcing societies to rethink who they choose to honor through this medium.

This has also inspired the takedown of a number of other statues, namely those of Christopher Columbus, Jefferson Davis, and the Portsmouth Confederate Statue, and there are also demands to remove the Cecil Rhodes statue in the UK as well.

And while this statue purge continues, it’s important to note that not all statues honor people of dubious or debatable reputation, as there are a number of them honoring political leaders, social activists, and all-around good guys in history.

Twitter has recently begun sharing photos of statues honoring people who have genuinely stood for peace, equality, and justice, speaking against structural racism, sexism, homophobia, and many other social issues.

Bored Panda invites you to check out the best picks below. While you’re there, why not vote on your favorites and leave a comment in the comments section below.

#1

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

fastcarspete Report

Katrin
Community Member
5 months ago

I simply love this

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#2

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

JustSabina_ Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
5 months ago

What a woman!

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#3

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

SilkCutBlue Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

I remember reading about him. An amazing and Very modest man. I think there is a show somewhere where they put him in an audience and he didn’t know they had surrounded him with all the hundreds of descendants of the children he had saved.

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#4

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

corinapickering Report

Electric Ed
Community Member
5 months ago

This is probably in Grenada, the country in the West Indies. Not Granada, the land-locked city in Spain. Though there is a New Granada too, which seems to be a catch-all for the Spanish colonies in the americas.

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#5

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

_Cailin_Corcra_ Report

Jon S.
Community Member
5 months ago

It was quite interesting reading about the famine. Initially, there was a huge response by the British government to help the famine victims and very large charity drives throughout the British isles. However, after the first year of the famine public sympathy had dried up. Papers were blaming mismanagement in Ireland, underestimating the number of people affected by on going starvation. Politicians were concerned ongoing intervention in the food markets was having more a detrimental then beneficial effect. Public sympathy had turned to hostility as waves of Irish migrants arrived in Britain. So the remaining years of famine the Irish peasants were on their own. It reminded me of the way the EU responded to the migrant crisis in modern times, initially with a huge out pouring of empathy and accepting many millions in, then cold disinterest and rejection.

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#6

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Sarakimbap Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful

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#7

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

fleshflesh808 Report

ElusiveIntrovert
Community Member
5 months ago

That's how a true leader should be, not some idiot who can wage a war by typing gibberish on Twitter.

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#8

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

_James_Holt_ Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

He helped the allies win the war by breaking the Enigma code, but after the war him being gay was the only thing that mattered. Nowadays he is praised for what he has achieved, but his contemporaries condemned him for whom he loved.

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#9

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Pip_est89 Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
5 months ago

The US sent a whole shipload back to Nazi Germany

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#10

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

cnombret Report

Daria B
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Member of a royal family sold into slavery. It's sad, but it's interesting, makes you think...

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#11

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

revkatebottley Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

People talk all the time about how Americans saved everyone in WWII. It was women. If women hadn’t stepped up to do all the work while the men went off to war, entire countries would have collapsed.

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#12

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

InFluxSince83 Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
5 months ago

Powerful and sad at same time

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#13

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

HerefortheMerl2 Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
5 months ago

I've read her diary when I was 14 and I couldn't do it again. Reading it with the knowledge of what happened was emotionally too stressful for me at that age.

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#14

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

JudithFreedman Report

Elsahthescienceguy
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

That’s odd.... I know Virginia like the back of my hand and no one has ever told me that this beautiful and meaningful statue existed!

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#15

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

moongiggles Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
5 months ago

For those who are confused about Spanish and Portuguese mentioned above: Magellan was indeed Portuguese, but he sailed under the Spanish flag.

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#16

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

firendeslre Report

beja flor
Community Member
5 months ago

Thanks for sharing this, I didn't know. So powerful ...

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#17

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

onthemoon69 Report

Chris DiFonso
Community Member
5 months ago

I wasn't familiar with Miss Davison, so I did research. She was an English suffragette. During one of her protests, she threw herself in front of the King's horse at Epsom Derby. She died four days later.

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#18

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

LaurenceL_Art Report

Tracey Hirt
Community Member
5 months ago

While Riel did sentence Thomas Scott to execution by firing squad, he himself never carried weapons and never personally killed anyone. He was a leader who led a rebellion, who was then executed for treason.

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#19

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

SammSpamm1 Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

I like the idea of this but making them naked feels a bit debasing.

Hilliary Smith
Community Member
5 months ago

It might be because slaves were sometimes naked in public. They had no right to modesty and owned no clothing. Coming out of slavery, they might still own no clothes. I like it, personally. Brave people who don't care about being naked as long as they are free.

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Missy Corron
Community Member
5 months ago

Being naked is possibly because they were reborn into freedom. I agree that there is a possible connection to the idea of being natural (as in Africa pre-kidnap) then forced into unnatural by way of having no control over even so much as his/her naked body, wearing the garb of enslavement, and having bonds of love, kinship, freedom ripped away. To me this represents not just rebirth (or even return) but claiming ownership of the self, so yes, naked we are born and each of us who are free have power over naked self.

Elsahthescienceguy
Community Member
5 months ago

So beautiful. Very well done

Stacey Montebello
Community Member
5 months ago

This is in Emancipation Park (Kingston, Jamaica) opened in 2002, the sculptures are by Jamaican artist Laura Facey Cooper, she finished this in 2003. It's called "Redemption Song", named after the Bob Marley's song of the same name. She won a sculpture competition for the park, and decide to go with nude figures b/c ": "My piece is not about ropes, chains or torture; I have gone beyond that. I wanted to create a sculpture that communicates transcendence, reverence, strength and unity through our pro-creators—man and woman—all of which comes when the mind is free."

jevais
Community Member
5 months ago

Electric Ed are you having trouble with sex? This not a sexual statue, it's a political, humaniste statement about what these people suffered at the hands of those who abused them. Grow up! Get yourself a life and educate yourself.

Pat Weston
Community Member
5 months ago

Naked is how they were transported and sold. Very appropriate!

Hilary Minor
Community Member
5 months ago

The Ancient Greeks celebrated the beauty of the naked human figure. So should we.

Priscilla Wilkes
Community Member
5 months ago

Absolutely BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL 💯❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Michael Dworkin-Robertson
Community Member
5 months ago

the human naked form is not debased, but beautiful...it is perception that has made it "shameful...

Marjorie King
Community Member
4 months ago

yes.

Laura
Community Member
5 months ago

its a statement. the bare naked truth

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
5 months ago

This is so disrespectfull in so many ways. Don't pretend you don't understand .

John Doe
Community Member
5 months ago

Is OK but not exactly a great statue to honour them

Claire Wankiewicz
Community Member
5 months ago

I agree with Jo Choto. Naked shows no respect.

Mark Kelly
Community Member
5 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Beth Heilman
Community Member
5 months ago

Where in the world is this statue?

Dalton Brown
Community Member
5 months ago

Kingston Jamaica

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Barbara Bacigalupo
Community Member
5 months ago

couldve spared the us the view of genitals. why couldn't they have clothes on or a drape???

Michael Dworkin-Robertson
Community Member
5 months ago

because, unfortunately, the slaves ripped from their homes were often naked to show their attributes...but in this case, the artist chose to show them in their natural forms...why is this so abhorrent to you?

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Maryam Siddiqui
Community Member
5 months ago

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its very emotional and beautiful but they are naked, i feel that they should add something to cover the private parts.

Laura Campos
Community Member
5 months ago

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And as they rose from their slavery they said: let's throw off our clothes and expose our genitalia so the whole world sees we're equal. Right. I bet some white person created this statue.

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#20

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Tweettweetter Report

Puna
Community Member
5 months ago

Boy is this information wrong! Bartholdi designed it to stand at the entrance of the Suez Canal in Egypt. They turned it down because of cost.

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#21

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

krayziedoc Report

Munhu Afro
Community Member
5 months ago

Reminds me painfully of Marikana South Africa. Imperialism and Capitalism at their best

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#22

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

JaneyGodley Report

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
5 months ago

Fuck Franco! :P

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#23

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

SterHardaway Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes! We need more of these.

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#24

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

CuteGal432121 Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

I thought he had four arms for a minute.

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#25

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

ARCASH Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

I will always be confused by the stone they used for this incredible monument.

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#26

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

Sphiwe52346137 Report

beja flor
Community Member
5 months ago

Where is this statue?

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#27

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

TinkerbellTinny Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
5 months ago

Who chose the proportions for that statue?!

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#28

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

rattlecans Report

Chris DiFonso
Community Member
5 months ago

I did research since I wasn't familiar with Mary Barbour. She was closely associated with the Red Clydeside movement in the early 20th century and especially for her role as the main organiser of the women of Govan who took part in the rent strikes of 1915

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#29

Social-Political-Activists-Statues

UgonnaOkoro Report

Jon S.
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Its natural that this woman's story makes people feel uncomfortable. During the 19th century everyone in Britain was told colonialism and missionary work was an unmitigated good, because it allowed people like Slessor to do the things she did. After decolonisation in the 1970s we were told it was a terribly corrupt practice which led to widespread, abuse, exploitation and destruction of native cultures through arrogance. I sought out some opinions from the people who were evangelised and guess what? There was no consensus even among them. One man said "Westernisation was wonderful. No body kills anyone anymore, we can trade for food and clothes" and another said "westernisation was terrible. Everybody has become an alcoholic, no one does proper work. We don't know who we are anymore"

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