Monday, May 11, 2015

"Anything to Say?"

Italian sculptor Davide Dormino unveiled three of his statues in Berlin's Alexanderplatz.They depict Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning, all vilified in the U.S. by many of my fellow citizens and nearly all of those who claim to represent me as leaders in our government and military. “They have lost their freedom for the truth, so they remind us how important it is to know the truth,” Dormino succinctly states. The piece, titled, "Anything to Say?" invites our participation and perpetuation.

At the Free Thought Project, Jay Syrmopolous notes: "The artwork is not only an ode to the courage of these three whistleblowers, but also serves as a call to citizens to take a stand, as the three are standing on chairs with a fourth empty chair next to them." As this article mentions, it reminds me that a month before, New York City police removed within an hour a statue of Snowden. I think a hologram projection of him was, however, beamed onto the vacant pedestal, an eerie representation.

I'm not much for statues or pedestals. I've always had an iconoclastic streak. But I do, as a teacher of the humanities, appreciate the busts and monuments and public places that do dignify people, past and present, who bring more dignity and less hatred to our world--and promote that among ourselves.

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