Press release 11 April 2005

Dead Cow and Starving Africans in Danish Capital

An event of the controversial sculptor Jens Galschiot has cost the life of a Danish cow. Together with an armada of sculptures the dead cow has headed for the Town hall square of Copenhagen to join the ’Global Week of Action’, a campaign to denounce the unfair inter­national trade. Jens Galschiot will launch his sculptural manifestation from Wednes­day 13 to Monday 18 April.

The local network for the campaign has invited the controversial artist to the Danish capital. The aim is to fan a debate about the unfair international trade agreements preventing the developing countries from access to the world market and hence enable sustainable economic development. Throughout the week meetings, con­certs and manifold events will take place in Copenhagen. Worldwide 80 countries are joining the campaign.

The sculptural manifestations will start on Wednesday 13 April at 4 pm with a concert with Blue Founda­tion, Power­solo, Al Agami & Caroline Henderson, Ibrahim Electric and many others. Galschiot’s sculptures will make up the scenography: Hunger Boys in copper, two huge masks and an enormous Western woman (Justitia) sitting on the back of a starving African man. During the concert the sculptures are hissed 9 m above the square to highlight the imbalanced world trade. Previously the sculptures have joined mani­festa­tions in Paris and London.

The huge woman in copper with the telling title Survival of the Fattest will remain on the square until Monday. Placed on Greek pillars, three metres high, she will look down on the passers-by who may mirror themselves in the self-righteous sculpture that is spotlighting the western world’s hypo­critical stance on international trade. A plate on the pillars says: I’m sitting on the back of a man - He is sinking under the burden - I would do anything to help him - Except stepping down from his back. (So speaks Justitia, Western goddess of justice).

Friday about 1 pm Galschiot returns to the Town hall square to put up a pair of scales, 8 metres high. On the one arm he will hang up the dead cow by its legs, on the other he will place a number of Africans (in copper). The sculpture will point up the grotesque fact that each cow in the EU receives a subvention of 800 US dollars to block the poor countries from selling their products on the European market. The rich countries agricultural subventions mount to 360 billion US dollars a year, more than 5 times the Western development aid. For this extravagance a typical European family pays about 2000 USD a year. This grotesque situation maintains and deepens the imbalance in the world, Galschiot says about his piece of art. The scales, the cow and the Africans will remain on the square until Monday.

For more info and photos: (the site will be constantly updated)

Contact: Jens Galschiot, tel. +45 6618 4058, mail

Global Week of Action:

Danish campaign: Helle L. Severinsen, tel. +45 3022 0318,

and Joes Mikkel Christensen, tel. +45 2890 8244,

About the artist:

Jens Galschiot stakes his art to fan a debate about the imbalanced distribution of the world’s resources and about the ethical foundations of our civilisation. On various occa­sions he has partici­pated in international NGO events, such as the European Social Forums in Paris and London. He has put up a Pillar of Shame in Hong Kong, Mexico and Brazil to denounce massacres on pro-democra­cy dissidents, on indigenous peoples and on landless peasants. The projects are financed through sale of Galschiot’s bronze sculptures to art collectors.

Relevant documents
  • 2005.04.11: Dead Cow and Starving Africans in Danish Capital (PDF) to the  version of this document  to the  version of this document  
  • 2005.04.13: The concert on the Town Hall sq. in Copenhagen to the  version of this document  
  • European Social Forum, Paris 2003 to the  version of this document  
  • European Social Forum, London 2004 to the  version of this document  
  • new-struct/Happenings-and-Projects/Happenings/Global-Week-of-Action/Pressemeddelelse-15-04-2005.htm

    Level Up


    2005: Global Week of Action 2005.04.15: Død ko ophængt på Rådhuspladsen to the Danish version of this document  
    Additional Information:
    Categories: 2005: Global Week of Action | Happenings and Art Installations | 2005: International projects
    Themes: Globalisation | Imbalanced wealth distribution | World trade
    Sculptures: Survival of the Fattest
    Type: Press releases
    Dates: 13th April 2005 | 15th April 2005
    Locations: Town hall square, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Co-operators and Helpers: Global Week of Action | Netværket for Retfærdig Verdenshandel