A video depicting a few individuals urinating on a black child is circulating along with a claim that the individuals in the footage are urinating on a Malian child in a French village, in the wake of Mali’s decision to expel the French ambassador. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: A video depicting a few individuals urinating on a Malian child in a French village, in the wake of Mali’s decision to expel the French ambassador.
Fact: The visuals showcase an artwork created by Regina José Galindo; a Guatemalan performance artist renowned for her body art. This particular artwork is called PIEDRA, which aims to shed light on the historical violence experienced by Latin American women. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
In January 2022, Mali made the announcement that it was expelling the French ambassador, Joel Meyer, in response to what they perceived as hostile and offensive comments from France, their former colonial power, regarding Mali’s transitional government. Furthermore, recently the military junta in Niger also took the step of expelling the French ambassador.
However, it’s important to clarify that the viral visuals in question do not portray any form of retaliation by the French. Instead, they showcase an artwork created by Regina José Galindo, a Guatemalan performance artist renowned for her body art. When conducting a reverse image search on the viral visuals, we discovered identical imagery on Vimeo under the title ‘PIEDRA by Regina Jose Galindo’, uploaded seven years ago.
Taking a cue from this, further search with relevant keywords led us to articles that documented this performance (here & here). According to these sources, the artwork’s purpose is to shed light on the historical violence experienced by Latin American women. Additionally, Regina José Galindo’s website showcased this specific art performance, describing it as follows: “My body remains motionless, covered in coal, resembling a stone. Two volunteers and an audience member urinate on my stone-like body.”
A few more artworks of Regina José Galindo can be viewed here & here. Consequently, all of this evidence confirms that the circulating work is inaccurately presented as an act of revenge by French individuals in response to the expulsion of their ambassador.
To sum it up, a Latin American artist’s work is falsely portrayed as French people urinating on an African child.