Maya Jaggi is a cultural critic and writer based in London. A contributing art critic to the Financial Times, she was a profile writer and book critic for The Guardian from 1999 to 2015. (November 2018)

Follow Maya Jaggi on Twitter: @MayaJaggi.


Decolonizing Commemoration: New War Art

South African Native Labour Corps troops around a brazier at their camp in Dannes, France, March 1917

Official betrayal was epitomized in Britain by the Victory Parade of July 19, 1919. Lutyens, whose Cenotaph in London was the saluting point, may have sought to embrace all the Empire faithful, but Colonial Office officials deemed it “impolitic to bring coloured detachments to participate in the peace processions.” Indians were among the 15,000 soldiers and sailors on parade, but West Indians and Nigerians were not. Today, a wave of work by artists and historians is challenging World War I’s monochrome image, raising profound questions about the selectiveness of remembrance and how those who have been willfully erased can best be restored to memory.