Letter to Brazilian parliamentariansTo the Portugese version of this documentTo the Danish version of this document
To the Spanish version of this document

 After mature consideration we have now chosen Brazil as the country to receive the next Pillar of Shame. This event will undoubtedly be especially highlighted, due to the fact that it is the First Pillar to be set up in the new millennium.

The sculpture will be landed in Brazil at the beginning of 2000, so that it can be mounted on a central square in the capital on 17 April, the fourth anniversary of the Eldorado massacre. The bestowal of the prize has been made by the Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot and Art In Defence Of Humanism. Mounting and transport will be free of charge for the recipient.

The Pillar of Shame is a sculpture eight metres in height depicting more than 50 human bodies, painfully twisted in an obelisk form. The sculpture forms part of a humanistic art mani­festation that is during a decade embracing the whole planet. Pillars of Shame will be set up all over the world to mark severe infringements against humanism. When a Pillar has been mounted it will a part of a world-embracing network of similar sculptures. Hence it will contri­bute globally to preserve the memo­ry of an outrageous act which must never reoccur.

The first Pillar of Shame was put up in Hong Kong on 4th June ’97. The sculpture was set up to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing in ’89 where the Chinese authorities brutally crushed the democracy movement.

The second Pillar of Shame was put up in Mexico City on 17th April ’99 to mark the Inter­natio­nal Day against Impunity. A couple of weeks later the sculpture was set up at the entrance of the village of Acteal in Chiapas where 45 unarmed indigenous people were murdered in cold blood by a para­mili­tary group on 22nd December 1997.

As mentioned Brazil will be the next place to put up a Pillar of Shame. This event will take place on the 17th April 2000. Subsequently a Pillar of Shame will be put up on a central square of Berlin in the autumn of the same year in remembrance of the victims of the mass exter­­­mination of the Nazi Regime 1933-45. The Berlin Pillar of Shame has already been posi­tive­ly received by various mem­bers of the German Par­li­a­ment.

When we have chosen to put up the next Pillar of Shame in Brazil it is due to the fact that it is a bloody event in exactly this country which has originated the initiative of the International Day against Impunity, namely the massacre on 17th April 1996 in Eldorado de Carajás, where 19 land­less peasants lost their lives – shut down at close quarters or mowed down by their own working tools.

The Pillar of Shame does not pronounce any judgment on the question of guilt. But the sculp­ture ad­duces the claim that the guilty at all levels be made responsible: those who carried out the massa­cre, those who gave the orders and those who at different levels are covering up the perpe­trators.

The sculpture is given to the Brazilian state, represented by the parliamentary assembly who by accept it is sending a signal out to the world of the determination of the state to guarantee the legal secu­rity and to reinforce the defense of the human rights in Brazil. The sculpture is bestowed to the Brazi­lian parliament to give all democratic forces an opportunity to manifest their serious con­cern about the legal security of each citizen.

On the base of the sculpture there will be a plate containing a statement of the artist about the reasons for choosing Brazil to put up a Pillar of Shame. On another plate there will be a statement of the Brazilian parliament explaining why the elected representatives have decided to accept the donation.

The bestowal of the Pillar of Shame is made on the assumption that the Brazilian parliament decides to set it up on a central square in the capital. We expect the National Assembly to decide about the present as soon as possible and not later then 15 January 2000 and communicate the site selected for mounting the sculpture, so that the practical planning can be started.

We are always at disposal for further information. In addition, information is available on our web-site: www.aidoh.dk.

We are sending documentation to all the parties on the Pillar of Shame and the mounting of the sculpture in Hong Kong and Mexico.


Yours faithfully

 Jens Galschiot

 Photos of the Pillar of Shame set up on the Zócalo of Mexico City are available on the Internet:


To the index page of the Brazilian Pillar of Shame | To photos of the Brazilian Pillar of Shame |
 To a more detailed description of the Pillar of Shame | To an index of the Pillar of Shame in generel

Level Up

2000: The Pillar of Shame in Brazil
Additional Information:
Categories: 2000: The Pillar of Shame in Brazil | Happenings and Art Installations | 1996-?: The Pillar of Shame
Themes: Criticism of governments | Land conflicts | Massacres
Sculptures: Pillar of Shame
Type: Letters from us
Dates: 17th April 1996 | 2000 | 17th April 2000 | 1st May 2000
Locations: Praça da Leitura, Belém, Brazil | Town Hall, Belém, Brazil | Parliament, Brasilia, Brazil | Eldorado de Carajàs, Brazil | Harbour, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Co-operators and Helpers: Antonio Carlos Magalhães, President of the National Congress, 2000 | Brazilian Bishops | Caio Riela, MP for PTB, 2000 | Edilson A. Assunção | Fernanda Giannasi | Fernando Marroni, MP for PT, 2000 | Helene Gjerding | Kasper Markus | Luis M. Luis | Marcos Rolim, Senator for PT, 2000 | Marina Jakobsen | Movimento Tortura Nunca Mais de Pernambuco | Niller Madsen | Per Østerby | Robert Etches | Rosalina Gauffin | Thomas Frost | Tinku (Mikkel og Doris)
Partners: Edmilson Brito Rodrigues, Mayor of Belém, 2000 | Eunice Pinheiro Alves | Heloísa Helena, Leader of opposition, Senator for PT, 2000 | MST - Movimento Sem Terra | PT - Partido dos Trabalhadores | Senate of Brazil | Town Hall of Belém
Related Persons and Entities: Brazilian Minister of Justice, 2000 | Customs officials in Rio | Odense Skattevæsen
Sponsors: BUPL | DeTrey Dentsply AG, Schweiz | Fredsfonden | Funch Fonden | Gelsted/Kirk/Scherfig fonden | Kultursekretariatet i Odense Kommune | Lysgaard Fonden | Socialpædagogernes Landsforbund / National Federation of Social Educators | Socialpædagogernes Landsforbund i Vejle | Vedstaarup Lerfabrik A/S