Connect with us

Featured

Student union leader vows to paint over First World War mural of ‘white men’

Published

on

A student union leader has apologised for threatening to paint over a First World War mural because it displays only “white men”.

Emily Dawes, president of the University of Southampton students’ union, was branded “disrespectful” and “insensitive” following her remarks about the Rothenstein Mural.

The 1916 painting, which is displayed at the university’s Highfield campus, acts as a memorial to members of British universities who lost their lives during the “Great War”.

Ms Dawes tweeted: “Mark my words – we’re taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself.”

President of Southampton Uni SU tweets about taking down a mural of white men
Image:
The now deleted-tweet by Southampton students’ union president Emily Dawes

Social media users quickly condemned the comments.

One Twitter user wrote: “One of the most insensitive and disrespectful comments I have ever seen.

“Time for reflection, time for remembrance of what they gave for our freedom.”

Another person tweeted: “Before destroying a mural depicting men who fought & died for the freedoms you enjoy, perhaps you could visit the library on campus & acquaint yourself with the reasons for the painting in the first place.”

One social media user said Ms Dawes had put her “ignorance on such prominent display”.

Ms Dawes later deleted the tweet and apologised for the “offence and upset” she had caused.

“I never meant to disrespect anyone past, present and future,” she said.

“I had no intention of the tweet being taken literally and upon reflection have realised how inappropriate it was.”

Ms Dawes said she intended to promote “strong female leadership and not the eradication and disrespect of history”.

“I do not believe that to make progress in the future, we should look to erase the past,” she said.

The Rothenstein Mural shows a young soldier receiving his degree to represent students who lost their lives during the First World War.

A spokesman for the University of Southampton said Ms Dawes’ comments about the mural “do not represent the views of the university community”.

“We are very proud to display the Mural, painted in 1916, which serves as a memorial to all members of British universities who served in the Great War (World War I),” the spokesman said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending