Australia is about to have a federal election and I was thinking about how much I dislike politics, especially around election time. I hear this view mirrored often by other people through the media.
Yesterday I purchased a copy of The Big Issue and Alan Attwood’s editorial struck a chord with me. He reminded me to spare a thought for the people of countries where voting for your choice of government is not an option. These people would find it hard to understand our complaints listening to the likes of John and Kevin battle it out for the throne.
I’m not so proud of my political lethargy so I went searching for a symbol for democracy to help kick me out of it. I found a very interesting, and powerful symbol called the Goddess of Democracy. The linked article was informative and very moving and it educated me on the events leading up to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China in 1989. What I found especially moving was the statement by it’s creators.
The 33 foot high styrofoam and papier mache statue was built by students of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in hopes of bolstering the faltering Democracy movement during the Tiananmen Square protests. Once the statue was installed the numbers of protesters are reported to have grown from a waning 10,000 to as many as 300,000 in a couple of days.
The goddess was built to unite the people and to help them focus on the one goal- A cry for freedom and democracy for the people of China. I think she is an excellent example of the powerful effect symbols can have for humans.
When I go to the polls on November 24th, I’ll remember the symbol of the Goddess of Democracy, the people of China, the people of Burma, and all the other people around the world who don’t enjoy my privilege to be heard.