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MONUMENTS FOR the present


Over the past few years, public monuments in the UK have been the focus of debate and action that questions existing dominant narratives of national identity that glorify violent forms of imperialist extraction and white supremacy in the past and present. These contested sites have revealed complex power-struggles. They have also created space for new forms of representation within the public realm.

Monuments for the Present is a body of work that includes film, sculpture, billboards, and monuments made from soap. It is the result of over nine months of meeting, discussing, and making, to question and re-imagine local monuments and global histories. Conversations explored the potential for diverse forms of equalities within public space, and reflected upon the present as an experience of time that varies from one person to another, influenced by structural inequality. The project engages with multiple, simultaneously felt, experiences of time, physical and psychological, varying when we are busy (time flies) and when we are waiting. It highlights the temporalities and challenges faced by individuals within the immigration process, a process of dialogue that enriched the group's collective art-making. By weaving these varied experiences together, the project creates a layered understanding of time and resilience in the context of migration.

Co-developed by the Monuments for Equality creative initiative (artist and social engagement practitioner Paria Goodarzi, heritage curator Mia Gubbay and art curator Francesca Zappia) and the Maryhill Integration Network Museum of Things Art Group. 

CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts + Byres Community Hub, School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow + billboards across the city.

7-23 June 2024

Part of Glasgow International, Refugee Scotland and Common Ground festivals. Supported by Glasgow International, Maryhill Integration Network, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Byres Community Hub, See Me, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Refugee Festival Scotland, and JACK ARTS Scotland.


Sadaf Syeda

Monuments for the Present - Collage2023

Photo: Paria Goodarzi

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