Removing the LSE "The World Turned Upside Down” sculpture

Removing the LSE "The World Turned Upside Down” sculpture

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Seligman Must Fall Campaign started this petition to London School of Economics and Political Science

In response to the new sculpture installed at the LSE by Mark Wallinger, titled "The World Turned Upside Down”, we declare that:

  • Far from being “revolutionary” (as stated during its unveiling), the globe reproduces a highly problematic history of imperialism. Titling the piece "The World Turned Upside Down” ironically still implies there is a “right way up”.
  • In a moment when thousands of people around the world are dying while trying to cross borders and efforts of self determination are being brutally repressed, choosing to represent our planet with highly contested political borders legitimizes, celebrates, and endorses a nation-state system rooted in colonial legacy. The borders marked on the globe are a source of exclusion, oppression and a structure of global apartheid. For a university community that seeks to “tackle the biggest global challenges” and wants to “see the world from different and unfamiliar points of view”, this globe is painfully familiar and uninspiring.
  • “Correcting” or altering some of the labels and lines on this globe is not a solution. Conforming to UN resolutions is inadequate. Not all people fighting for self-determination have had (or will have) access to institutional consensus and recognition. Such struggles are constantly shifting; as new ones arise and gain recognition, the demands to redraw the borders would have to be put forward again. The problem is not the placement of the borders, the problem is the violence of their existence.
  • LSE has responded to legitimate concerns from students who are personally affected and insulted by what this globe endorses with hostile and threatening measures. The school installed a sign next to the globe warning that any annotations or corrections will be considered “criminal damage”. This punitive response is worrying and silences politicized critiques of art. Having security guards monitor student behaviour in the heart of the campus is uncomfortable and sets a bad precedent for university-student relations.

Therefore, we ask:

  • For the sculpture to be removed or transformed into a model without borders, such as a relief map or one based on satellite images. If the sculpture is sold, the funds should be allocated to students that are struggling to cross borders to come study at the LSE. We believe that would a better effort towards making LSE a “global university”.  

Should these requests not be satisfied, we will be inviting students, faculty and likewise dissatisfied members of the community to join us in a public protest to demand either the borders or the globe itself be removed on Monday 29th of April, at 1 pm, around the globe itself.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!