Graham Campbell: City Councillor
It’s called GOMA these days but those in the know call it what it was and is … William Cunninghame’s Mansion. This slave owner, slave driver’s house functioned as the Glasgow stock exchange and was where the predecessor to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the slave masters club – the Glasgow West India Association (aka the pro -slavery lobby ) held its meetings for a while. As slavery bankrolled capitalism this ‘house’ was at the centre of all those cruel circuits of mass murder and exploitation for the sugar, tobacco and cotton trades.
Looking at art there just doesn’t do the place justice – even though it now has Black Scottish artists work on its walls – it’s still an obscenity that is a monument to its creator but not to those enslaved Africans, worked to death in order to pay for it.
Outside you see the citizens of Glasgow’s novel repurposing of the Wellington statue as Coneheid! For 35 years or more, they feisty Glaswegians have said ‘you’re coney naw dae that’ every time the authorities have tried to take this unexpected hat off his bronze gilded and black tar lacquered head. Now for some redecorating inside, eh?!