Statue Of Black Lives Matter Protestor Jen Reid Takes Place Of Slave Trader Edward Colston

Statue Of Black Lives Matter Protestor Jen Reid Takes Place Of Slave Trader Edward Colston

July 15, 2020

A statue of Black Lives Matter protestor Jen Reid was put up in Bristol city centre in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The figure was placed atop the plinth where Bristol slave trader Edward Colston's statue stood before it was taken down by Black Lives Matter protestors last month.

London-based artist Marc Quinn led the secret mission to put up Jen Reid's statue. The statue, titled A Surge Of Power, was cast in black resin and shows Jen Reid being defiant in her message and her Blackness with her fist high in the air — a scene that played out in real life when Reid climbed atop the plinth shortly after Colston's statue was torn down during the protests last month.

The secret mission was carried out quickly by a team of 10 people before 5am and the members arrived and left the scene within 15 minutes.

"Jen created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air," said Quinn. "Now we're crystallising it. "The only thing that could have stopped it would have been some kind of official intervention, but it didn't happen. It looks like it's always been here."

However, Bristol's Mayor, Marvin Rees, stated that the statue was not requested and "permission [had not been] given for it to be installed," adding that "the future of the plinth and what is installed on it must be decided by the people of Bristol."

This erection of this statue is a symbol of defiance and a reminder that the fight for Black lives is far from over.

Updated on July 16.

News has since broken that the statue has now been removed by Bristol City Council.

"I have no idea what happens next," Quinn commented. "When you do something like this, you have no control over what happens."

"It was never intended to be a permanent thing," Jen Reid added. "[Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees] and his people need to do what they need to do for the people of Bristol."

Words: Jordan Lolomari
Photography: Alex J Richards