- Title: Act of colonial defiance to top Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth
- Date: 5th July 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 5, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FOURTH PLINTH WINNING COMMISSION "ANTELOPE" BY SAMSON KAMBALU FOURTH PLINTH FINALISTS VARIOUS OF KAMBALU LOOKING AT ANTELOPE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARTIST AND "ANTELOPE" SCULPTOR, SAMSON KAMBALU, SAYING: "The work that I have here is called ''Antelope'', and it's based on a photograph taken in 1914 of a Malawian pan-Africanist baptist preacher, of him standing there at the doorstep of his church with his friend John Chorley, a British missionary, and the two men are wearing hats. Yeah, so it looks like an ordinary photograph but actually if you dig more you realise that this is an act of defiance because in 1914 in Nyasaland, now Malawi, Africans were not allowed to wear hats in front of white people." VARIOUS OF EXISTING FOURTH PLINTH EXHIBIT ON TRAFALGAR SQUARE, ''THE END'' BY HEATHER PHILLIPSON (SOUNDBITE (English) ARTIST AND "ANTELOPE" SCULPTOR, SAMSON KAMBALU, SAYING: "When I was invited to propose for this plinth I wanted to go for something that meant something to me. When people come to Trafalgar Square they bring their own stories, but of course when we are invited to propose the temptation is to go for something more open maybe that's just kind ofâ€¦ I decided against that, what I told myself was that ok I'm going to propose something that means something to me even if doesn't mean much to others, but I will start with me. So that's what I did and fortunately I think that people can identify with that. Sometimes to be universal you have to be specific." ''ANTELOPE'' ON DISPLAY KAMBALU LOOKING AT SCULPTURE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARTIST AND "ANTELOPE" SCULPTOR, SAMSON KAMBALU, SAYING: "Chilembwe at the time was fighting for social justice, he was protesting against the treatment of Africans by the colonials, and he made this photograph as an act of defiance, he had this picture taken and distributed. And then months later he was killed in an uprising." "ANTELOPE" / OTHER FOURTH PLINTH WINNING COMMISSION "850 IMPRONTAS" BY TERESA MARGOLLES VARIOUS OF ''850 IMPRONTAS'' (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARTIST AND "ANTELOPE" SCULPTOR, SAMSON KAMBALU, SAYING: "I had to somehow find a way of emphasising that this is Chilembwe's story and I started with all kinds of things, looking at photograph thinking how can I indicate this and some weeks later Chilembwe just simply rose up, he became larger, because it's, he's the one who after this event of the photograph he died in an uprising so he just rose up for me like a ghost and towered over his friend." ''ANTELOPE'' ON DISPLAY
- Embargoed: 19th July 2021 15:12
- Keywords: Antelope Samson Kambalu Trafalgar Square fourth plinth
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Art,Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe
- Reuters ID: LVA001EKKF61L
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Visitors to London's Trafalgar Square over the next few years will be transported to Malawi during the colonial period with one art work and shown impressions of trans people across the world in another.
On Monday (July 5) Samson Kambalu and Teresa Margolles were announced as the Fourth Plinth's newly commissioned artists.
Kambalu impressed with a mock-up of a sculpture called ''Antelope'', which he told Reuters is based on a ''photograph taken in 1914 of a Malawian pan-African baptist preacher (John Chilembwe) ...next to his friend John Chorley, a British missionary''.
What is significant he says is that both of the men are wearing hats: ''It looks like an ordinary photograph but actually if you dig more you realise this is an act of defiance because in 1914 in Nyassaland, now Malawi, Africans were not allowed to wear hats in front of white people.''
In the sculpture Chilembwe is larger in scale than Chorley, in order to emphasise that it is Chilembwe's story, Kambalu said at the event at London's National Gallery.
''He's the one who after this event of the photograph he died in an uprising so he just rose up for me like a ghost and towered over his friend.''
In contrast to Kambalu's sculpture which will go on display next year, Margolles' piece is a collection of casts of the faces of 850 trans people from around the world.
According to a press release Margolles ''works closely with this marginalised community that sometimes is unable to access social care.''
Titled ''850 Improntas'', the work will be in place in 2024.
Known as The Mayor of London's Fourth Plinth Commission, the art space was created after 2003 when the Mayor of London took over ownership of Trafalgar Square.
Previously, the plinth in the northwest corner of the square in central London lay empty for more than 150 years after funds ran out to erect an equestrian statue as originally planned.
Heather Phillipson's, 9-tonne sculpture of a giant swirl of whipped cream with a cherry on top, entitled ''THE END'', will stay in place until September 2022.
(Production: Natalie Thomas, Sarah Mills)
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