[Marxism] removing marx

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Wed Jul 30 09:11:39 MDT 2008



        Winnipeg Free Press </>

    Breaking News

      Mural artist ordered to remove Karl Marx

Updated: July 30, 2008 at 07:01 AM CDT

Karl Marx may have been the father of communism, but in the eyes of a 
Winnipeg business group, he's a politically incorrect choice for a mural 
depicting Winnipeg at the time of the 1919 general strike.

A century ago, Winnipeg made international headlines for its labour 
unrest and communist sympathies. However, Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner, 
executive director of the West End BIZ, admits she ordered an artist 
working on a public mural to alter the design and erase the image of a 
person "very much looking like Karl Marx."

The 19th-century philosopher simply didn't fit the intended aim of the 
BIZ-sponsored mural, Cardwell-Hoeppner said.

"We were looking to have images of social history, not political 
history," she added.

"That was a time with a lot of things happening and there were a lot of 
people coming into the city. They were leaving struggles that they were 
having over in Europe and coming to a new life here. That was what was 
trying to be depicted here."

The two-metre by three-metre mural, on the side of a building at Ellice 
Avenue and Banning Street, was among a series of public murals the West 
End BIZ has had created in the last several years.

The BIZ has sponsored about 50 murals throughout the inner city in an 
effort to beautify Winnipeg's core. Each year, it hires artists and 
university arts students to paint two or three such works.

Sketching of the mural depicting Winnipeg around 1919 began a few weeks 
ago, Cardwell-Hoeppner said, but the artists embarked on the design that 
included Marx "before the research was complete."

The artist had intended to show a man of that period, not to pinpoint 
Marx himself, Cardwell-Hoeppner said. The decision to erase the Marx 
image, made Monday, disappointed at least one passerby.

"Walking down Ellice these past few days was a gratifying experience," 
said Errol Naumko, who wrote to the Free Press to express his dismay.

The mural has also become the subject of at least one local Internet blog.

joe.paraskevas at freepress.mb.ca

    * Winnipeg Free Press </>
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Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Director, Programme in 'Transformative Practice and Human Development'
Centro Internacional Miranda, P.H.
Residencias Anauco Suites, Parque Central, final Av. Bolivar
Caracas, Venezuela
fax: 0212 5768274/0212 5777231
mlebowit at sfu.ca

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