Anything to say?

Davide Dormino 2

There’s a buzz going on at Geneva’s Place des Nations. I go and snap some photos of Davide Dormino‘s powerful bronze installation entitled “Anything to Say?” It’s only here for a few days. Do you recognise these three beautifully sculpted figures with their calm and determined faces?  For sure, you’ll know their names! They are the three most widely known whistle-blowers of all time: Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

Davide Dormino 3

They stand on chairs facing their fate. They wear impersonal one-piece suits. Does this mean they are in prison? Maybe you think all three should be in prison? (Manning already is.) Maybe they are modern-day knights in shining armour come to save us all?

Dormino says the installation “is a monument to the courage of three people who said no to the establishment of comprehensive monitoring and lies, and have chosen to tell the truth.” His work is placed in front of “Broken Chair.” An empty chair on the right of the whistle-blowers transmits a challenge: “Come and stand up here with us! Do you have anything to say?” I’m reminded of the scene in “Dead Poet’s Society” when the pupils, by standing on their desks, show solidarity with their unorthodox teacher whose mantra is “make your lives extraordinary.” I really want to stand on that chair and shout what I think. But then…. Am I brave enough?