Press Release 17 September 2008


At the European Social Forum in Malmo, Sweden, 4 teenagers will be crucified on 4 metre high crosses of copper. The 4 sculptures were created by Danish artist, Jens Galschiot. They will join a crusade at the ESF in Malmo, 16-21 September, where up  to 20,000 grassroots rally to discuss how to get clout on global development. 

The sculptures are being made ready (crucified and mounted on trolleys) at Galschiot’s workshop in Odense, Denmark. Together with 12,000 posters they will be carried to Sweden to highlight the crusade against contraception and sexual education led by the USA and the Vatican.

The art happening is titled In the Name of God. The project is an artistic comment to the extreme Bible fundamentalists – with President Bush and the Pope in the lead – who preach sexual abstinence until marriage as the only method to avoid HIV contamination and unwanted pregnancy.

They will bomb back sexual education and ban information on contraception that they see as an invitation to voluptuousness. In the same token the Roman Catholic church asserts that contraption is impermissible according to the biblical doctrines, so they advocate the absurd allegation that only ‘unprotected sex’ is admissible. The consequences may be disastrous for the proliferation of AIDS an STD’s and so the result will be increased suffering, Jens Galschiot says and continues: The sculpture is not a comment on the issue of abortion or stem cells, but should be seen as an artistic advocacy for the right to contraception and unprejudiced sexual education.

The sculpture is not a global accusation against Christianity. On the contrary, I admire those Christians who take the Gospel’s claim of charity seriously – and act accordingly. I think that progressive Christians should dissociate themselves from the abuse of ‘their’ God for the sake of a reactionary contraception policy.

Also the women’s movement have plenty of reasons to keep a watchful eye on this new trend towards puritanism and sex-phobia that will seize any opportunity to roll back the women’s struggle to the Victorian Era, the artist concludes.

The pregnant teenagers have travelled a lot. One has been displayed in front of the Cathedral of Copenhagen in co-operation with the Lutheran dean. – Two joined huge demonstrations in the streets of Nairobi and were subsequently crucified on a stadium in front of 60,000 activists. – Another has spent a year supporting Nicaraguan women’s campaign against the country’s extremely restrictive legislation on abortion – every year 200 women loose their lives due to the ban of therapeutical abortion. – In all places where they have been dis­played, the pregnant teenagers have fanned a heated debate. The artist is envisaging exhibitions of the sculptures in USA, Poland, the EU Parliament and the Vatican.

The pregnant teenager symbolizes innocence. The child that has been led astray due to ignorance, impulsiveness or maybe is the victim of rape is mercilessly exposed to the ultimate punishment. The association to Jesus as the innocent sacrificial lamb is apparent.

More information:

Information, free photos of the Teenagers in Malmö: www.aidoh.dk/esf2008

General information about the project: www.aidoh.dk/InTheNameOfGod

Contact to the Danish activists in Malmö: Pia +45 2762 1991, Mikkel +45 2984 8242

European Social Forum 2008: www.esf2008.org

Artist: Jens Galschiot, Banevaenget 22, DK-5270 Odense N, Denmark

Tel.: +45 6618 4058, mobile: +45 4044 7058, e-mail: aidoh@aidoh.dk


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