The After Monument @DDW2021 from Design Academy Eindhoven on Vimeo.
Follow link to webiste HEREIn the fall of 2020 our tutors in the Information Design Masters program at Design Academy Eindhoven proposed a loosely collective project focused on the widespread protests earlier in the summer, in particular the removal of figures memorialized for their roles in racist and colonial activities. Dozens of monuments were removed–some by force, others by local governments. In Europe, the pulling down of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, UK by protesters and the removal of King Leopold II by Antwerp city officials made international news.

However, from a distance the nuances within the debate, the stories behind the monuments were often lost. Often it felt like there was a binary status--monuments in-place or a void where the monument stood. In a word, there was a lack of information regardless of what happened to the inanimate yet deeply provocative statues.

The public debates of whether removal is the right path of recourse and how to reckon with the colonial pasts and present in Europe and the countries they colonized is a rich and complex challenge. As information designers, we wanted to investigate further the practice of monument-making and history-telling in the public space and how we could contribute. At the guidance of our tutors, Toon Koehorst and Jannetje in ‘t Veld of the design studio Koehorst in ’t Veld, we each set off in our own directions finding and researching monuments in our hometowns and elsewhere. That is the basis of this organic, personal archive of 17 monuments.