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What a Statue Stands For.
April 30, 2017
In Denbigh artist Wanda Zyborska has developed an annual ritual re-veiling of the controversial civic statue of H.M. Stanley as part of a public protest about a man who supported slavery and was guilty of crimes against humanity.
HM Stanley was a famous name in the late 19th century, mainly as a result of his search for Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone who he found in East Africa in 1871, after eight months of searching, coining the well known phrase; " Dr Livingstone, I presume?"
The many protestors say that Stanley was part of a brutal and exploitive regime that resulted in millions of Congolese being killed. They cover the statue in a rubber "condom" to symbolically stop the spread of the "seed" of corruption and exploitative power. A wreath is laid to commemorate those murdered in the Congo.
Protestor Wanda Zyborska, who is the artist that made the rubber covering, said: “Rubber is a particularly appropriate medium for the Stanley re-veiling sculpture, as there was so much abuse related to the collection of rubber by the people of Congo, who suffered punishments such as cutting off a hand and flogging for failing to deliver.
Wanda is a member of Sexcentanary, a collective of women who identify as older, committed to the collaborative performance of gender, feminism and ageing.