Oxford students, academics protest picture of Theresa May in gallery of noted female graduates

Oxford students, academics protest picture of Theresa May in gallery of noted female graduates
A group of disgruntled Oxford University students and academics have protested a collection of portraits of well known female geography graduates… because one such graduate is UK PM Theresa May. The picture has now been removed.

Outraged students - armed with the hashtag #NotAllGeographers - took to social media to have their voices heard after the Prime Minister was included in a series of portraits in honour of notable female geography alumni. May attended the Oxford where she read geography at St Hugh's College, graduating in 1977.

Oxford pupils are upset that the student body was not consulted before the portrait was hung.

To share their “condemnation” of the Prime Minister’s inclusion in the group of notable female geography alumni, NotAllGeographers surrounded May’s portrait with bright pieces of coloured paper - the type you’d expect to find in a primary school classroom - to give students a ‘free space’, and to encourage their peers to "share your thoughts”.

21 academic staff have also jumped on the bandwagon, filing complaint on the grounds that “it seems inappropriate to display images of an incumbent head of government in an institution that has amongst its intellectual responsibilities that of holding government accountable.”

The portrait of Theresa May has since been removed, however Oxford University has confirmed that the picture of the PM has been removed so it can be redisplayed where it cannot be “obscured by posters” put up by dissenting students or staff. Oxford University said the portrait had not been removed to make any political point or express solidarity with protesters.

“The portrait was being increasingly obscured by posters bearing mainly humorous satirical messages,” an Oxford University spokesman said. “It has now been taken down and will be re-displayed so it can be seen as intended.”

Downing Street did not comment on the incident. “I haven’t discussed this with the PM and it will be a matter for the college,” a spokesman for May said.

NotAllGeographers said the picture was “an assault on internal democracy”.

“Clearly at a time when there are issues with the Windrush scandal and the handling of Brexit [she is] a contentious figure in a department with many EU citizens and decolonial scholars,” the group told the Oxford student newspaper Cherwell.

“The main, and most basic, issue comes with the celebration of a sitting prime minister. Should a department align itself with the power of the day, when there are those who actively challenge it?

READ MORE: Rhodes statue protesters: ‘Oxford University is institutionally racist’

“It is unprecedented to celebrate state power in such a way (regardless of one’s political affiliation). For many geographers, the famous Doreen Massey being placed below her is also another kick in the teeth.”

Oxford University students have a history of being offended. Previously, they have been upset by a statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes and were offered emotional support in case they were upset by comments made by Professor Louise Richardson, who said that students who are upset with their tutors for expressing views against homosexuality should talk to them about it, instead of just reporting them to university authorities.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Follow the news MSM ignores: Like RT UK Facebook
ICYMI