JEN REID in conversation with Paula O’Rourke

Saturday 11 November

Jen Reid tells her story of the events leading up to the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol that saw the statue of 17th century Slave Trader Edward Colston toppled and thrown into the nearby harbour and how she became a symbol of the protest.


In the early morning of 15th July 2020, a statue by world renown sculptor, Marc Quinn was added to the empty plinth. The statue, titled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, depicts Jen Reid, raising her arm in a Black Power salute.

In the 24 hours it stood, it became a defining global symbol for the BLM movement. Months later, it is still raising conversations and inspiring people to learn more about the structural racial inequalities that have been ignored for too long.

By raising her  head above the precipice with her spontaneous act, Jen Reid captured a moment which would change the course of history.