by Jorge Artajo

Yesterday Getafe, a working class populated city at the South of Madrid, wanted to pay homage to the victims of domestic violence and prepared several acts during the whole evening and night to people aware about this social problem and as a way of telling to the victims that they are not forgotten.

Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, a huge Cedar tree, was placed in the afternoon by a Lorry mounted crane in the main square of the city calling the attention of the old people there walking and chatting under a friendly winter sun.

As I put the tag with Yoko’s wish in the tree to take a photo, they came around and one of them asked me with an ironic smile “Are you selling this tree? Is the price written in the tag? I laughed for his humorous way of approaching me, and his funny way of asking without asking, that it was a pleasure for me telling them about the Wish Tree and the International Day for the elimination of violence against women.

They started to talk about women in Getafe killed by their husbands and asked to participate. Nothing was prepared yet, and the whole thing was supposed to start at 5 p.m., but I forgot all protocol and provided them some tags and pens still in the bags and boxes and they were the first ones to tie wishes to the tree.

That square is the main witness of the energy of the city and of all the movements of its people during the whole journey, because when old people returned to their houses about 3p.m. children started to flow from the surrounding streets. They were very interested about the whole thing.

Pens and tags seemed to fly through the table we had set for people to write their wishes. They asked their parents to help them to tie their wishes and encourage them to write their own. It was amazing seeing them running from the table to the tree again and again and again with that special and beautiful energy children have, calling their friends in the distance to come and write wishes.

At 5 p.m. people started to build a path of light leading to the Wish Tree and in the stages around the square started some circus, dance, theatre and music performances, all of them related to the issue of domestic violence.

The major of the city tied to the Wish Tree the message sent by Yoko Ono to erase domestic violence and the women of Getafe read a manifesto against domestic violence. The most moving moment of the whole evening was when a very young girl read a letter to her mother killed for her father last year in Getafe.

The path of light to the Wish Tree grew and grew and people placed candles at its feet as a symbol of the presence of the 53 women victims of domestic violence in Spain last year.

Jorge Artejo
Installation organiser

Message from Yoko Ono:

Hi, Jorge!
I see that you are working, as usual.
We are at the point where we can end all violence very soon, by the effort of people like you.
Thank you.