A statue in Berlin, Germany’s central Alexanderplatz depicts life size statues of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning, a US soldier who was convicted of violating the espionage act. Although Manning has transitioned to female, the bronze statue shows her as her former male self.
— dwnews (@dwnews) 4 May 2015
The bronze statue shows no matter how much the United States attempts to control people’s actions; many people throughout the world respect those who try to keep the nanny state accountable.
The statue depicts the three mavericks standing on chairs, as though they are at a public meeting. There is a fourth, empty chair next to the trio, which is designed to make the art interactive. Italian artist Davide Dormino invites anyone who has anything to say to get on the chair and do so. He has aptly titled the piece “Anything to Say?”
Dormino says of the citizens’ interactions with the piece, “People are saying many different things. From politics to babbling to silence, from people who desperately want to help Julian, Bradley (Chelsea) and Edward to people who have no idea who they are. This chair is, I guess, a place of free speech.”
Many people have taken the opportunity to use the chair, some even with a megaphone, to express their thoughts and ideas.
The artist says he wants to pay tribute to those who had the courage to stand up and fight against the status quo. He feels that men who orders others to deaths are often immortalized in art and throughout culture, while those like Snowden, Manning and Assange are often forgotten after their resistance fades from the media.
All three of these famous rebels are currently sacrificing their own freedom, which they have done in order to help protect their fellow citizens. Snowden, who revealed information about NSA surveillance, is currently hiding away somewhere in Russia. Chelsea Manning, who leaked diplomatic cables, is currently serving out her 35-year prison sentence in a military correctional facility. And Julian Assange, who hosted her files on Wikileaks, sits in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, unable to leave without possible arrest.
The statue allows the three to live in freedom, using their voices, despite the fact that they have been criminalized for doing so.
Anna Scanlon is finishing up her PhD in History at the University of Leicester. She makes a living as a freelance writer for several websites, including New Life Outlook where she discusses her struggle with lupus SLE. She is the author of three YA books:Unravelled, The Remnants and Children of the Most High. Anna also runs the lifestyle and veganism blog and accompanyingYouTube channel Anna in Wonderland:
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