Blasphemy or a symbol?

By Nanna Kirstine Hansen

Jens Galschiot’s sculpture has gradually been in Nicaragua in three weeks. She has been in Estelí, Managua and León, where she was shown in the streets and in some of the nearby villages. The reactions have been many and mixed, but there’s no doubt about, where ever she is shown she will be sensationally.


Friday, 25.05.2007, I am sitting to a meeting with women from the different organisations, there is in the women’s movement (Movimento Feminista). They are planning the parade there’s set on May 28. Suddenly the conversation is about how the statue was receipt in Estelí. Flavia, who is a representative from Estelí express her worrying about the statue.

“Maybe we are challenging the church in a way that is not right.” she says, “Many out in the villages finds the statue blasphemous.” She is scared that the statue will hurt the campaign.

“A woman came to me and said: How can you make a campaign for life, when it is represented by a symbol that means death?”


Monday, 28.05.2007, the caravan of cars that has been moving through the streets of Managua Is now in the streets near Daniel Ortega’s house. As I sit there in the car at looks out, I see a man that holds his hands very hardly on his ears, like if he is going to shut all noise out. When we drive by him, he removes his hands and jells: “Abortion is killing!” and then he presses his hands against his ears again, as if he were going to be infested with sin, if he heard some of the slogans there were jelled out through the speakers.


Tuesday, 29.05.2007, the street is blocked and all kinds of electronic equipment are set up on the stairs that leads to the university. The statue that has been given the name muñequita (the little doll), is placed in a pavilion and a strip light is lighting her with its barren light. We arrive with signs and torches that are placed around her. The softer light from the torches mixes with the light from the strip light, and the black smoke that rises from the torches dances in front of her and wraps her in a veil of sorrow.

A little street urchin stand and looks at the statue. First to this side and then to the other side. His mouth is open and his eyes are wide open, stocked to her, while he walks around her. Sometimes he bends a little to watch her from the bottom and up. Especially her stretched stomach gets his attention. His eyes fall on a woman that stands close to him, and carefully he opens his mouth and says: “When is she giving birth?”



Saturday, 02.05.2007, about 200 young people from the university and 3.g have shown up to a conference arranged by Ampdi (The Union for Professional Women for Development). It is a part of the course about sexuality, as women have driven with them. Again is our statue a central statue and the young ones are asked to right their thoughts down. There is silent for a quarter in the big hall that has been warmed up by the many people. Afterwards they are asked to stand up and tell what they have written.

“For me, she is a symbol of that powerlessness pregnant women are in today. She inspires me to a bitter sadness, because the law condemns her to death.”

“She is a symbol of how women, especially the poor, are being crucified. She symbolises the pain women have, because they can not rule over their own lives.”

From the society’s creation they have instructed the women what they have to do, even though they cannot like it. The statue is a symbol of this submission and sacrifice. They cannot think of themselves, but instead they have to think about everybody else.

Translated by Matilde Christiansen