A new Commission to ensure London’s historic achievements are properly reflected across the capital will include artists, academics, writers and arts professionals.
The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm has been set up by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and will be advising on better ways to raise public understanding of existing statues, street names, building names and memorials.
A statement from the mayor’s office clarifies: “The Commission is not being established to preside over the removal of statues.”
London’s statues, street names and memorials tend to reflect Victorian Britain, so the commission will review these, discuss which legacies should be celebrated, and recommend how the tell the full story of the capital can best be told. This will include increasing representation among Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, women, LGTBQ+ and disabled groups, as well as those from a range of social and economic backgrounds.
Commission members are: Toyin Agbetu – social rights activist and founder of Ligali; Riz Ahmed - actor, musician and activist; Robert Bevan - architecture critic for the Evening Standard; David Bryan - chair of Battersea Arts Centre, Brixton House and Voluntary Arts; Aindrea Emelife – art critic and independent curator; Pedro Gil - director and founder of Studio Gil; Jack Guinness – founder of The Queer Bible; Gillian Jackson - director of engagement at the House of St Barnabas and a trustee of Culture24; Reverend Professor Keith Magee - Senior Fellow in Culture and Justice at UCL and Chair and Professor of Social Justice at Newcastle University; Lynette Nabbosa – founder of Elimu; Sandy Nairne CBE FSA –historian and curator; Eleanor Pinfield – director of Art on the Underground and member of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group; Jasvir Singh OBE - chair of City Sikhs; Binki Taylor - Brixton business owner and partner in the Brixton Project; Dr Zoé Whitley - director at Chisenhale Gallery.