Human rights defenders who took part in Shelter City

Danilo Maldonado Machado

Danilo Maldonado Machado has a depiction of Laura Pollan tattooed on his body. Danilo decided to wear her likeness permanently on his body so that the secret police could not forcibly remove it again. Laura Pollan was the founder of ‘Ladies in White’, a Cuban opposition group who hold peaceful protest marches to demand the release of political prisoners. Danilo is a Cuban artist who works for freedom of expression. Through performance, paintings and graffiti he poses questions which the Cuban authorities believe should not be asked. During his stay in The Hague, Danilo performed during the Museum Night of The Hague. By placing a heavy chain around him Danilo wished to show the audience that he was still a captive of Cuba. Danilo also worked with a group of high school students on a graffiti project to show how art can be used to express opinions and emotions that would otherwise be silenced.

Justice and Peace Netherlands stands up for human rights and social justice. Worldwide and in the Netherlands. We work for lasting peace, a just world society and justice for all.

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Shelter City


Shelter City: The Hague Initiative offers human rights defenders the possibility for rest and respite by letting them escape from a temporarily threatening situation. Shelter City is a last resort when shelter in the region is not possible and the safety of the human rights defender in question cannot be guaranteed. An important principle of the Shelter City Initiative is that human rights defenders continue their work, even if they are temporarily relocated.