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CATEGORY: Uncommissioned

Kumé Pather
Hollow Crown
Medium: Digital and Watercolour

The British Monarchy has long been a symbol of oppression and colonialism for black, brown, and indigenous peoples. An empire built on the backs of slaves and later “indentured servants” lost its longest reigning monarch, a woman whose public appearance was that of a smile and little else. Whose interest was solely to maintain her empire. “The great uniter” she was dubbed. Opposed to apartheid but did nothing to end it, as long as her commonwealth remained intact. A woman, complicit in the violent and brutal suppression of anti-colonialism uprisings in her lifetime only one of which the British government admitted in 2011. We celebrate Elizabeth Windsor, and in doing so we forget that the jewels she wears on her head were stolen, many of which were mined by the same people the British empire let starve in devastating famines. The massive diaspora left in her family’s wake is a reminder that many people of color have no idea of what home is, stripped of their lineage that the Monarchy takes such pride in. We glorify a woman who was a painful reminder, that as long as you admit no wrongdoing, as long as you position yourself as the hero, you have nothing to apologize for.

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