Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mad Churchill?

A statue of Winston Churchill in a straitjacket has gone on display in Norwich, UK. How insulting. The lifesized fibreglass sculpture depicts Churchill standing and strapped up.

The piece was commissioned by a mental health charity called Rethink. Rethink says the point is to destigmatise mental illness. An admirable goal, but they've gone about it the wrong way. To me it says, people who suffer from depression need to be constrained, they're dangerous, to themselves and others.

Winston Churchill rather famously suffered from depression, which he called his 'black dog'. Clearly, as one of the greatest political figures of the 20th century, Churchill managed to struggle through his mental illness, however painful that was. That's admirable and inspirational and worthy of being commemorated in art and public memory. But not like this.

The Sun reports that his family are not best pleased. As someone who both admires Churchill and has struggled with depression, I'm not either.

Not only that, but it doesn't even look like him. It does however look like a mad bloke who does need locking up.

Churchill picture from a favorable news article of Norfolk based website.

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