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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Russian Kiss - Luxury Hotel's Symbolic Protest Against Putin

From Oslo to Sochi with Love When guests arrive at Norway's swankiest hotel, The Thief in Oslo, they will be greeted by multiple couples - heterosexual, same-sex, interracial - kissing in enthusiastic support of the global Principle 6 campaign. Behind the initiative are the hosts of Europride 2014 and the Norwegian Hotel Tycoon Petter Stordalen.

Not only in Sochi are Norwegians Marit Bjørgen, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Ståle Sandbech and Heidi Weng outperforming Russia. In the Norwegian capital of Oslo, Vladimir Putin is currently being offered insight into the true Olympic spirit. Norwegian singer Annie and Norwegian visual artist Bjarne Melgaard are behind "Russian Kiss", a beat-filled Putin protest song accompanied by a video of couples of all sexual orientations kissing in succession. Inspired by the song, the Norwegian Forbes-billionaire Petter Stordalen and the Norwegian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organisation made the decision to use the video in a two-week long protest against Putin.

Anti-Putin Pop

"While Norwegian athletes are entering the podiums in Sochi, we are putting human rights on the agenda at The Thief," says Petter Stordalen. Stordalen has made his flagship hotel available for a different kind of Olympic celebration. From room #410 and towards the streets outside, on all hotel TVs and on the hotel website, the protest music video is being screened during the Olympics. Additionally, employees will don Principle 6 clothing uniquely customized by renowned designer Jenny Skavlan "Putin and Russia's horrifying, anti-human rights actions spurred the creation of "Russian Kiss". I like to think of it - as a journalist wrote - as a big fat visual middle finger to Russia's anti-gay legislation," says Bjarne Melgaard. Thorhild Widvey, Norwegian Minister of Culture, says, "I support the Principle 6 campaign, and think it in a positive way highlights the Olympics' own charter, which states that no form of discrimination is consistent with the Olympic spirit."

Serious violations

Commenting on Russia's recent anti-gay legislation, Stordalen explains, "As a businessman, I find it hard to believe that someone would invest 50 billion USD in gaining the world's attention just to showcase that you don't even respect the most basic human rights. What makes the world such a wonderful place is the diversity. I have always strived to fill my home, my office and my hotels with the most diverse crowds possible."

 Bård Nylund, president of the Norwegian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organisation, agrees: "The overwhelming response to the Principle 6 campaign is so important because the human rights violations in Russia are extensive and serious. A lot of people want to send a clear message to the Olympic movement that they must adhere to its own charter."

This June Oslo will be the host city of Europride, and Mayor Fabian Stang concurs that there is a lesson to be learned by Putin: "The people of Russia will be proud the day their nation is respecting basic human rights." For more information contact Bård Nylund, president of the Norwegian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organisation: +47-950-56-383 / bard@llh.no

Free photos and videos to be credited Frederic Esnault/Friendly Films The "Russian Kiss" video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBO7F0PJP48

SOURCE LLH 

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