Claim: Social media users have shared a video showing people purported to be French urinating on an African woman in front of a group of onlookers.
Verdict: Misleading. DUBAWA’s investigation revealed that the video was a staged performance by Regina Jose Galindo in São Paulo, Brazil, in January 2013. The performance was to portray the challenging conditions faced by women working in Brazil’s demanding coal-mining industry.
The video has partly been captioned on both Twitter and Facebook: “This is the filth of France, the ugliest scandal of the twenty-first century!!! The inhuman and shocking scene of two men and a woman urinating on an African in one of the French villages, and the child, completely stripped of clothes, lying face down on the ground, while numbers of the French men and women, whose country has always shocked the world with the sophistication of their civilisation, are watching this obscene, dirty, and abnormal act, without any sign of intervention from any of them!!!”
“This was after the state of Mali expelled the French ambassador…. Africa must wake up to see the true, ugly face of France. We regret the ugliness and horror of the scene, but where are the human rights advocates in this? It is unfortunate that globally, Black Africans are associated with misfortune everywhere,” it concluded.
Similarly, X user @ali_naka has also published the video with a caption that says, “Anyone with information as to what’s happening here must get in touch”. His publication has garnered over 200,000 views, over 500 retweets and over 300 bookmarks.
The video, which is approximately two minutes in length, depicts a disturbing scene where individuals, both men and women, are shown taking turns to urinate on a naked woman, who is curled up on the ground within a circle of onlookers. The description of this video seemingly attempts to suggest that this incident reflects a callous side of France.
Due to the seriousness of the claim and its potential global and international implications, DUBAWA decided to investigate it.
DUBAWA conducted a Yandex image search after the Invid Video Verification Tool generated frames from the video. The search revealed that the video was an art performance by Regina José Galindo on January 17, 2013, and not a depiction of real events.
Further investigation led DUBAWA to a GIF website known as “makeagif,” which featured a visual excerpt from the viral videos along with a caption that read, “Performance: Piedra DE Regina JOSE GALINDO.” Our search also directed DUBAWA to the full video on YouTube. However, it’s worth noting that this YouTube video had been removed due to a violation of the platform’s policies on nudity or sexual content.
The caption “Piedra DE Regina JOSE GALINDO” can be translated into English using Google Translate as “performed by Stone of Regina Jose Galindo.”
DUBAWA also found a blog post published by the Hemispheric Institute. This blog described the scene as an artistic performance that took place at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. The blog provided a vivid description and explanation of the video, explaining that the woman subjected to the act of urination was covered in black coal.
The artist intended to highlight the disposability of both stones and women, drawing a poignant parallel to the challenging conditions women face in Brazil’s harsh coal-mining industry.
We also found out that Regina Jose Galindo’s work has been published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The foundation collects, preserves, and interprets modern and contemporary art and explores ideas across cultures through dynamic curatorial and educational initiatives and collaborations.
A further search revealed the excerpts of the photo of the performer had been published on her website.
The video is an artistic performance by Jose Galindo in 2013. The art was intended to portray the challenging conditions faced by women working in Brazil’s harsh coal-mining industry.