Julian Assange Crowdfunds Life-Size Statue of Himself

Written by on December 13, 2014 in Art and Music, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

Chris Green | The Independent 

He has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy for the past two and a half years to avoid being arrested and extradited to Sweden. But that has not stopped Julian Assange from courting publicity, whether from the balcony or from behind his computer.

The WikiLeaks founder has used the whistleblowing website’s official Twitter account to publicise a funding drive for the creation of a life-size bronze public artwork featuring himself, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, described as a “a monument to courage”.

The proposed statue by Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, entitled Anything to Say?, will depict the trio standing on chairs, with another empty seat beside them onto which members of the public will be encouraged to climb – allowing them to stand shoulder to shoulder with the whistleblowers. Organisers need £100,000 to complete the project, a sum they hope to raise by 1 January through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. With just 21 days to go, only £19,360 has been pledged – perhaps explaining why Mr Assange chose to alert WikiLeaks’ 2.4 million Twitter followers to the campaign.

According to the Kickstarter page, the statue “is not a simple homage to individuals, but to courage and to the importance of freedom of speech and information”. “This is the reason for the empty chair,” it continues. “Each of us can climb onto it, however uncomfortable and vulnerable, and change our point of view. The work of art will travel from country to country and offer the opportunity for us to hear each other out and think.”

The statue of Julian Assange stands between sculptures of Edward Snowden, left, and Chelsea Manning.

Mr Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge, west London, since seeking asylum in the country in June 2012. He is wanted for questioning in Sweden over alleged sex offences, but he denies any wrongdoing and fears that if he travels there he will be transferred to the US, where he could face 35 years in prison for publishing classified documents through WikiLeaks.

Those who pledge money for the statue will qualify for a range of rewards depending on the depth of their pockets. A £5 donation will earn a “public thank you” on Facebook, £50 will buy an autographed picture of Mr Dormino working on the project and £300 will buy a limited edition t-shirt bearing the statement: “Be courageous because courage is contagious.”

The idea for the statue came from Mr Dormino and Charles Glass, an American author, journalist and broadcaster. British journalist Vaughan Smith, with whom Mr Assange stayed while he was on bail in 2010, is organising the Kickstarter campaign.

“I got excited by it because I thought it was some art that suggested, rather appropriately, that these whistleblowers were our true friends rather than the politicians who pretend to be,” Mr Smith told The Independent.

“If you look at the statues we do have, they’re mostly of people who’ve done various things during our past in conflict and killed rather a lot of people. I think it’s refreshing to have a statue that’s perhaps owned by the public a little bit more.”

Read the full post here.

Tags: , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend