Burka Happening by Jens Galschiøt
In response to the burka ban enforced in Denmark in 2018, Galschiøt organized a series of Happenings during the Peoples Summit. In these he challenged the legal restrictions on clothing, by wearing a burka and being naked underneath it.
Fuck Too Little And Too Much - An Art Event About Banning.
Danish citizens are losing more and more personal rights, and legislations are often symbolic and lack logical or professional foundation.
The most recent legislation is the ban on burkas, which is meant to empower and liberate the poor oppressed women under the burka. Apparently, no one has read the 2009 report commissioned by the current ruling party Venstre, which states that the majority of burka wearers in Denmark do so against their husbands' will, that they cannot receive social benefits and about half are ethnic Danish converts.
At this year's People's Summit, we're bringing 15 burkas, and people can come and exchange (all!) their clothes for one of the controversial garments.
The burkas are entirely black with a small mesh area for viewing. They are made from a single continuous piece of fabric, preventing the removal of parts of the burka to show one's face.
If stopped by the police and asked to remove the burka or identify oneself, one must undress completely.
Due to the bans on burkas, masks, and indecent exposure, those wearing burkas are doubly in violation. As they have no other clothing, they would need to walk through the People's Summit either naked or in a burka to reach our tent and change clothes.
Of course, we have no idea how the police will react, or if they will react at all. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how people respond when the People's Summit is filled with individuals in burkas. And the event becomes even more intriguing when lifting the burka to show a naked leg or buttock.
Media and Livestreaming: The individuals wearing burkas will be continuously followed by a small 'camera team' that will livestream the events on Facebook. This way, the entire world can follow the event, and we expect that many will. It's also quite possible that journalists will follow the Happenings.
Organization: In our tent at spot D4, you can sign up for shifts lasting one to two hours. You can participate either as a 'burka walker' or a member of the 'camera team'. At the start of your shift, you'll place your clothes and belongings in a box in the "dressing room" and receive a burka. Once your shift is over (or when you've had enough), you'll return to the tent for changing and debriefing. It's encouraged to share your experience live on Facebook.
Sofus Markus, psykoterapeut i Odense C