Statues gagged in Flanders to raise awareness for suppressed voices of ‘changemakers’
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    Statues gagged in Flanders to raise awareness for suppressed voices of ‘changemakers’

    By 'silencing' local statues, the organisation wants to draw awareness to the 'changemakers' whose voices are suppressed. Credit: 11.11.11

    Several statues all over Brussels and Flanders were gagged and received a sign around their necks with the message ‘Give our change-makers a voice’ on Wednesday.

    In 80 municipalities all over Flanders, more than 350 statues were gagged on Wednesday. 11.11.11, an umbrella organisation for development cooperation, wants to raise awareness for the people and organisations that work towards a socially and ecologically just world with this action.

    The statue of Till Eulenspiegel on the Flagey square and the statues at the town hall in Forest, among others in the whole of Flanders, have been gagged. By ‘silencing’ local statues, the organisation wants to draw awareness to the ‘changemakers‘ whose voices are suppressed.

    The five figureheads of the campaign are Passy Mubalama, Red Constantino, Awad al Kalil, Esperanza Martinez and Thaïs Baguna, said the organisation. They are people from the south who give women a voice, strengthen democracy through a radio station, provide clean energy in their country, limit the power of oil barons or offer people a new perspective after a war. They symbolise hundreds of thousands of others who are working in their own way towards a better world.

    According to 11.11.11, the freedom of speech of the changemakers is under pressure. “More and more legislation is being adopted that makes it increasingly difficult for nonprofits or trade unions to register in order to receive funding or organise activities. Critical voices are branded and criminalised,” the organisation added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times