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Student Activists Protest for Repatriation

Members of Decolonise Art History march on Trinity College to demand the return of the Gweagal S​pears

#rhodesmustfall colonialism gweagal spears repatriation rhodes must fall Student Activism

On Sunday 28th, students from the 'Decolonise the History of Art and Architecture' group were led in protest by the Australian Indigenous campaigner Rodney Kelly with the aim of repatriating the Gweagal Spears, which the activists hope to have achieved by 2020.

The protest began with a talk from Kelly at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, which currently houses the Spears, during which he explained the significance of the Spears as part of Aboriginal culture and outlined the reasons for their return.

The protestors then marched to Trinity College and set up position outside the main gate, where they called on Trinity College to return the Gweagal Spears.

One student activist explained that the Spears "are representative of the violence that took place when Captain Cook landed in Botany Bay" and "of the systematic racism towards Aboriginal people that goes on to this day and the oppression of their culture, with [the Spears] being currently housed in this institution [the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology]". She hopes that Trinity College will return the Spears as "they would be a great teaching resource for Aboriginal young people back in Australia".

The protest formed part of series of events focused on the repatriation of the Gweagal Spears, organised by the 'Decolonise the History of Art and Architecture' group.

If you have any opinions on the issue of the repatriation of indigenous artifacts, or on the Gweagal spears specifically, don't hesitate to email [email protected]