Mexico City is moving forward with the decision to remove a feminist “anti-monument” installed there last year and replace it with a historical stature replica, leading to public outrage.
The monument in question is colloquially known as Roundabout of the Women who Fight. The background of the monument began in 2020 when numerous statues were toppled across the world amid George Floyd’s murder in the USA. In Mexico City. In a similar fashion, the statue of Christopher Columbus at Paseo de la Reforma Avenue was toppled by unknown protestors. While the figure remained removed, the authorities decided to replace it with a monument honoring Indigenous women of Mexico City. However, the decision to hire Pedro Reyes, a “white male artist”, to build the monument was met with derision from activists. Soon after, feminist groups installed their own monument at the site in September 2021.
The “monument” was a purple sheet of metal showing a woman in blue silhouette and her arm raised, along with the word “JUSTICE”. The sheet also has feminist slogans and names of the female victims. The monument was supposed to represent the violence against women in the region. Mexico City, in recent years, has come under fire due to the increasing cases of gendered violence (dubbed femicide).
However, Claudia Sheinbaum (Head of Government, Mexico City) has now announced the removal of the ‘anti-monument’ and replacing it with the replica of the 15th-century statue ‘The Young Woman of Amajac’. In a press conference, Sheinbaum said: “They are women who have historically fought for our country, and it is precisely the indigenous women who have had the least voice, who were the most discriminated against. The idea is to have a special place for them on Paseo de la Reforma.”
However, feminist groups have criticized this decision, calling it a ‘token’ gesture while emphasizing that “it’s not about putting up a monument to worship the past, but one to recognize the present fight, all the women who have disappeared”.