Sasha Welland Quoted on the Dearth of Monuments to Women in Seattle // Axios Seattle

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

Sasha Welland is quoted in an Axios article titled, “Seattle has a dearth of monuments to women,” which finds that among hundreds of pieces of public art in Seattle, you'll find few depicting real-life women from any point in history. What does this reporting for Women's History Month tell us about the power dynamics that shape public space and collective memory?

In an outtake from the interview that didn’t make it into the published reportage, Welland considered the insult of the bronzed styrofoam statues of "old white men" added to the University of Washington quad for the filming of tv show The Sex Lives of College Girls last summer. Intended to make the University of Washing quad resemble a New England college campus, the erection of these fake monuments came not long after student activists demanded the removal of the George Washington statue at the west entrance of campus, calling it a reminder of “the trauma that Black and Indigenous people in this country have dealt with.”

As Kemi Adeyemi notes in the UW Daily reporting on the petition to bring the statue down and the larger conversation about monuments, “It costs a lot of money to produce work, and it costs a lot of money to install work, and it costs a lot of money to insure work. So it makes complete sense that primarily white people, and white men in particular, are the ones who have secured the resources to be able to be on view on campus — the value of them and their work is perceived as generating more return on those investments.”