Exhibitions - Events - Installations
REQUEST TO UNESCO06.07.2022

The monument "The Dance of Zalongo" International Landmark
for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

 

The George Zongolopoulos Foundation on November 25, 2021, Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, participated in the UNESCO global campaign "Orange the World" illuminating for the first time in orange the emblematic monument "The Dance of Zalongo" in collaboration with the Municipality of Preveza.

The monument "The Dance of Zalongo" International Landmark
for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

We are all witnessing a series of issues of gender-based violence, which, unfortunately, has taken on enormous proportions in recent years. Raising awareness of the need to eliminate the phenomenon, is an ongoing struggle of every state and private initiative with a common goal: Eliminating Violence Against Women, nationally and globally.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Region of Epirus, the Prefecture of Preveza, the Municipality of Preveza, the Central Union of Greek Municipalities, the Greek National Tourism Organisation and many friends, the George Zongolopoulos Foundation is launching an international campaign for the Monument "The Dance of Zalongo" as an International Landmark for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Sixty-three women of Souli in Western Greece, called Souliotisses, in front of the spectrum of rape and captivity, after being chased and trapped opted for death rather than live with no dignity, turning themselves along with their children towards the edge of the cliff of Mount Zalongo. It is the first act of self-determination and group female decision against violence, recorded as a fact in world history.

The monument is a masterpiece of art, technique and human creativity in colossal scale, 18 m long and 15 m high, which is visible from a distance of 35 km.
The collective decision of women to react in this way against violence and the uniqueness of the monument, thematically, morphologically and technically, make the sacred site of Zalongo and the monument itself a unique World Reference Point and Symbol for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

 

"The Dance of Zalongo"

Monument of Modern Cultural Heritage of Greece

By decision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports (Government Gazatte 320-03/06/2021), the landscape installed sculpture "The Dance of Zalongo" in the Prefecture of Preveza is characterized as a Monument of Modern Cultural Heritage of Greece, because it is a pioneering work of modern sculpture in a large scale, in public space, with exceptional historical, artistic and technical value.
The request for the characterization of the monument was submitted by the George Zongolopoulos Foundation, that expressed its warmest thanks for the honorable acceptance and approval by the Greek State, as well as for the exceptional cooperation with the relevant departments of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The construction feat for the monument 

Following a pan-Hellenic competition, the construction of a monumental scale work of art dedicated to the group sacrifice of the Souliotisses takes place in situ on Mount Zalongo.
There are many construction difficulties as the materials (water, sand, gravel, wood, iron rods, cement) for the frame made of reinforced concrete and the 4.300 limestone blocks that would "dress" the Souliotisses need to be transferred from the base to the top of the cliff that the monument was constructed by hands, with animals and with improvised mechanisms through impassable paths.

The longing for the creation of the monument, however, is such that for its completion public entities and individuals are united. The construction of the monument was financially supported by school fundraising, as well as by the remarkable volunteer work of dozens of women from neighboring villages.
The formation of the "Dance of Zalongo" as a public monument, pays tribute to all women who have chosen to define their lives, while at the same time the monument is a reference point for the active role of women in societies.

 

The global character and symbolism for the Elimination of Violence and Equality, and the request to UNESCO

The emblematic sculpture "The Dance of Zalongo" is a typical example of Modernism, that its abstract morphology can be adopted as a symbol of every woman not only in Greece, but throughout the world.

Considering that it is the right time for this monument to become an International Landmark for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the George Zongolopoulos Foundation acts for this designation by the UNESCO. Let us all together support this effort, so that we can say NO TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, having for this purpose a Unique Global Symbol in the country that even today has a profound influence on the way in which Democracy should function.

The natural site and the unique case of this public monumental artwork with women standing proudly on the edge of a cliff denying any form of humiliation, deserves international attention and publicity as an important interchange of human values.

 

Let this monument remind everyone of the self-sacrifice of those women and let it become a symbol for each of us to honor the woman, the mother, the daughter, the sister, the friend that has in his life.