Heroes. My 10-year-old daughter has to prepare a presentation for History class in school about a hero whose actions had a dark side as well. From the available choices she picked Paul Tibbets. Her friend will acquaint herself with Simon Spoor. In the next twelve weeks the children are bound to become more sensitive to what our history meant to other peoples and cultures. Hopefully they’ll have a more nuanced outlook on the world than the older generations. Grow up to be more understanding and accountable than their parents were.
At the moment there’s a Kickstarter campaign for a playing card deck in honour of Christopher Columbus: The New World playing cards.
I can hardly wait for their next deck celebrating Hernán Cortés.
Of course, outside of the caves that some of us still live in, statues of Columbus and the like are being taken down. My daughter's generation won’t erect new ones. Museums are starting to return stolen artworks and cultural artifacts to the ex-colonies. More voices are being heard, more groups are being represented.
We're at a turning point in history. Which makes me wonder if I should maybe back this card deck.
We live in an age where everything that’s privileged and Eurocentric is removed from our environment and from our daily life. I think our beautiful Colonial Museum (that’s actually called Tropenmuseum, or “museum of the tropics”) is ready for a makeover. Pretty soon their halls will be empty anyway. To have a reminder and warning for future generations of how the world once was, it's time to start a Privileged Eurocentric Art and Culture Exhibition – the Museum of PEACE.
No more heroes any more. But we’ll have peace at last.