Monday, June 3, 2013

Goddess of Democracy and Statue of Liberty

Goddess of Democracy (middle), Statue of Liberty (left) and its replica (right)
I made this 5"x7" postcard to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Student Protest. The picture in the middle, taken before dawn in the Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, on June 3, 1989, features the Goddess of Democracy. The 10-meter-tall (33 ft) statue was built by students of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China (中央美术学院) using foam and papier-mâché over a metal armature. It was placed at Tiananmen Square on May 30, 1989. Also known as the Goddess of Democracy and Freedom, the Spirit of Democracy, and the Goddess of Liberty, it became a rally point after the martial law was declared on May 20, 1989.
The statue was crashed down by tanks and destroyed by soldiers entering the Tiananmen Square to clear out protesters pre-dawn on June 4, 1989, less than 24 hours after this photo was taken. 
Although the sculptors of the statue played down the speculation that it was modeled after the Statue of Liberty, for fears of being labeled as "pro-western", there is no denial of their resemblance. However, when memories fade along with the elapsed time, we tend to forget what really happened. Ironically, now we see the erosion of the civil liberties in the U. S as well. We thought freedom and civil liberties can and should be sacrificed in the name of security. When we pass by the replica of the Statue of Liberty in front of the New York New York Hotel and Casino, how many of us will pause for a second to ponder what freedom and civil liberties mean in current time, rather than just treat it as an imitated attraction in front of an amusement park ride? 
I found Stephen Foster's song Gentle Annie on Youtube, performed by the National Taiwan University Chorus. For the lost or hurt during and after the Tiananmen Square Protest, you will not be forgotten.
Several replicas of the Goddess of Democracy have been erected worldwide permanently or temporarily to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square Student Protest. I am collecting postcards and photos of those replicas. I will appreciate it if you can send me a copy.
Photos on this postcard:
  • Goddess of Democracy: Beijing, China, June 3, 1989
  • Replica of Statue of Liberty: Las Vegas, Nevada, June 4, 2011
  • Statue of Liberty: New York City, New York, November 21, 2011

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