The 1823 Monument remains an essential part of Guyana’s turbulent history

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The 1823 Monument was unveiled on August 5, 2013 by former President, Donald Ramotar. The renowned Ivor Thom of Guyana is the architect of the eccentric structure which is located along the Kitty Seawall Road, opposite the Guyana Defence Force’s Camp Ayanganna Headquarters.
Thom beautifully carved, out of bronze, the body of a male slave of African descent wielding a cutlass with a chain attached to its end. It sits on a concrete pedestal which consists of a miniature male and female sculpture on either side of the base.
The monument is positioned perfectly in the centre of a large plot of land, flanked on three sides by a white picket fence. The African man was made to stand erect, with legs apart, symbolizing strength and perseverance.
The chain he clings to symbolizes the oppression humans endured during slavery. As with most, if not all monuments, there is a great representation by the 1823 monument which stands as a reminder of an important part of Guyana’s history.
The shrine recognizes the slaves who lost their lives in the 1823 Demerara Slave Uprising.
Readers would find it interesting to note that the 1823 revolt served as one of the catalysts for the abolishment of slavery in Guyana. In fact, the slaves who worked in Eastern Demerara were distressed because their governor and masters were withholding their freedom from them. They learnt that slavery was abolished based on a decree in Guyana’s Parliament. Since their overlords were not obeying the new law, they were left with no other choice but to rise up against those who did not obey the King’s orders.
They claimed what was rightfully theirs— freedom.

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