Action carried out at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, in front of Picasso’s Guernica (Image by Rebellion or Extinction and Youth for Climate)
In an action for peace, activists acted out a grotesque scene to point out that war should have no place in a space of culture.
The Prado and Reina Sofia museums will host visits and a dinner for more than 40 NATO delegations on 28 June.
The action was carried out keeping a strict security distance from Picasso’s well-known work on the horrors of war.
By Rebellion or Extinction and Youth for the Climate
Madrid, 27 June 2022 – This morning, around thirty activists from the Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future movements carried out a nonviolent performance action in one of the halls of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.
In front of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, the activists collapsed on the floor pretending to die while four of them, dressed in gala clothes and pretending to be great leaders, toasted to the sound of Brahms’ Third Symphony. With banners reading “War is the death of Art” and “Here will meet the lords of war”, they denounce the fact that museums, cultural spaces, are hosting a summit for war, since on the 28th both the Museo Reina Sofía and the Museo del Prado will bring together more than 40 delegations of members and sympathisers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, whose summit will take place in Madrid this week.
Peacefully, and keeping a strict distance from the painting, the activists were removed by museum staff in an action that lasted approximately 10 minutes. After the action, representatives of both movements pointed out that “Security is not achieved with more weapons. The expansion of any army is not compatible with the defence of the planet and the security of the citizenry”. During the summit, the alliance’s involvement in the defence of the southern border will be discussed at a time when around 80 migrants were injured or killed by Moroccan border forces.
Rebellion or Extinction and Fridays For Future pointed out that NATO has been a structure responsible for a form of development based on the dynamics of expropriation and overexploitation of the planet’s natural resources, and specifically those of the Global South: “first it was fossil fuels and now it will be minerals for the energy transition”.
This action is part of the citizens’ initiatives against the militarisation of the climate crisis and the holding of the NATO summit in Madrid.