Berlin

Berlin artist to erect statue in city park honoring drug dealers

Berlin-based artist Scott Holmquist seeks to spark a conversation about criminality and the infamous Görlitzer park’s role in general to the German capital. By 2017, he hopes to erect a statue honoring African drug dealers in the city, pitching the idea initially as a recognition of the “contribution of this dangerous job in the ongoing fight against the heritage of colonialism and for individual’s freedom to control their body.”

His presentation earned the support of the left-leaning Pirate Party, whose public backing of the endeavor sparked hope for a 2017 completion date. However, controversy surrounding the statue’s fruition, including complaints from families affected by drug addiction, foreshadows a more difficult reality: ““I’m afraid this proposal doesn’t have particularly good prospects to be accepted because the politics and policy on drugs and addiction in Germany is unfortunately still very tense and are largely characterized by unfounded fears,” advised Pirate Party member Felix Just to a German news channel.

Still, Holmquist will not back down from his undertaking. He later stated that even without backing from the city, he’ll move forward in erecting the statue even if for a short time period. Ultimately, he maintains the statue’s presence in Görlitzer park will help in promoting a wider conversation on its cultural role in Germany and cause a positive impact. Currently, the park is considered one of the more dangerous in the city, with over 500 pending drug investigations linked to the location.

h/t: Deep House Amsterdam

photo credit: Uli Hermann

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