Regina José Galindo Guatemala

Regina José Galindo (1974, Guatemala City) is a radical and compelling performance artist who confronts violence, oppression and injustice. Who can erase the traces? (2003) was performed to protest Guatemala’s Constitutional Court allowing former brutal dictator Rios Montt to stand as a presidential candidate. Carrying a bowl of human blood in which she repeatedly dipped her feet, Galindo walked from the National Palace to the steps of the Constitutional Court leaving a trail of bloody footprints to symbolise the hundreds of thousands of murdered civilians. It was a profound and powerful act demonstrating the persistence of memory and it raised strong public response. Galindo uses her body as a metaphor for the collective social body, and subjects it to acts that resonate and reflect specific local and international instances of human rights abuse, violent crime, economic injustice and political chicanery. In a work addressing the widespread disrespect for human life, We don’t lose anything by being born (2000), she was drugged, put in a plastic bag and dumped at the local rubbish heap. In Hermana (2010), the unjust, discriminatory Guatemalan social hierarchies were dramatically reversed. The hypocrisy of male-dominated societies was highlighted in Recorte Por La Línea (2005), in which the areas of Galindo’s body that would need to be altered to meet current male requirements were marked up by a plastic surgeon, and in Hymenoplastia (2004), when she underwent the operation alongside women who had to have their hymens restored in order to get married and girls being sex trafficked as virgins to attract higher prices. Regina Galindo is honoured for transforming personal rage at injustice into powerful public acts that demand response, for disrupting ignorance and complacency to bring us closer to the experience of others, for her courage, honesty and commitment to social development in Guatemala, and for the liberating impact and relevance of her work for all levels of societies around the world.

2011 Prince Claus Awards Book here.