World

4.7.2015

Artists install an Illegal Snowden Shrine in Brooklyn

What happens when you leak some of the NSA’s most classified and confidential information? Well, if you’re Edward Snowden anyhow, you become a legend. Over the past year alone, the NSA whistleblower has starred in the Oscar winning documentary Citizenfour, has been portrayed by the hunky Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an Oliver Stone film, and now has a statue dedicated to himself in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Over the weekend, a group of anonymous Brooklyn artists installed an 100 pound bust of Snowden’s head to a column and welded his name to the bottom. The artists/activists told ANIMAL that they completed the installation just before the sun rose on Monday morning.

The artists decided to place the statue on a column that belongs to the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, a memorial dedicated to the American POW’s who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War. The Brooklyn based art group explained the significance of this operation, titled ‘Prison Ship Martyrs 2.0′ in a manifesto stating:
"We have updated this monument to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies. It would be a dishonor to those memorialized here to not laud those who protect the ideals they fought for, as Edward Snowden has by bringing the NSA’s 4th-Amendment-violating surveillance programs to light."

Although the statue was taken down in several hours, later that evening, The Illuminator, a political art collective, projected a hologram of Snowden in place of the bust.

So, while Snowden may not be allowed back to the U.S, he’s certainly welcome in Fort Greene, at least in holographic form.

Photography by Aymann Ismail, Brendan McDermid and Kyle Depew

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