Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Embodiment of Freedom


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In AD61, Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe (in modern Norfolk), rose against the Roman forces of occupation in one of the most ferrocious rebellions of all time. As with each attempt of the British tribes to dislodge the foreign empire, she failed, but her failure was a symbol of resistance to oppression, the quest for freedom, and the ancient warrior queen and her daughters were immortalised as part of British culture. This 19th century Romantic bronze stands at the north end of Westminster Bridge, across the road from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, on the banks of the Thames, and while Londeners perhaps no longer see her, by sheer familiarity with the landmark the statue constitutes, visitors may pause and remind themselves that 2000 years ago this queen took on an empire and gave them a war we remember to this day. She would not have looked anything like this Classicist fantasy, but the chariot and proud horses are accurate enough, at least in spirit, to the warfare of the tribes of the 1st century. I took this simple snapshot in December, 2006, on a cool afternoon after coming back from the National Gallery. Enhancements were sharpness, contrast and colour. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic. Image by Mike.

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