Amnesty and Dagbladet are collaborating on a campaign to highlight human rights abuse in Russia. It's called To Russia With Love.
Gay pride colours
We're inviting people all over the world to show their support. Just visit torussiawithlove.no and you can join in, says Eugene Brandal Laran, editorial head of digital platforms at Dagbladet. The map will be completed when 28 000 people have shown their support, adding a spot of rainbow colour to the map.
The rainbow flag is the well-known symbol of gay pride and the LGBT movement (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement).
You can show your support anonymously, there's no need to add your name, we're just asking for your age, gender and nationality. We also urge everyone to share the link (and love) with friends and followers to spread the message all over the world.
- When we've completed the painting, and Russia is covered in rainbow colours, we'll just start over again with another coating, Laran says.
The purpose of torussiawithlove.no is to allow anyone — be it artists, athletes, or just regular people — to show their support, make a difference, and highlight abuse on human rights in Russia.
Why are we doing this?
Editor-in-chief at Dagbladet, John Arne Markussen, explains why Dagbladet wanted to do this:
- The map is in many ways an alternative Olympic arena — a place where we all can make a stand, in an easy way, and show what we think about the anti-gay laws introduced in Russia, thus also the country's stance on human rights, and especially freedom of speech.
- We hope that with Dagbladet, Amnesty, and the map being shared in social media, it will get international attention, far beyond Norwegian borders.
- You can never write enough about human rights issues. We don't either. But by creating this map and torussiawithlove.no, we invite everyone to help us show how important this matter is to our society. The map is a global, digital petition, Markussen says.
How it came about
- The idea came from a journalist at one of our editorial planning meetings. We were discussing how we could do a simple, innovative feature, capturing some of the difficult and sensitive issues surrounding the Sochi Olympics. We then worked closely with our developers to build the map.
Should the press really do things like this — a petition?
- Yes, absolutely! We will cover the sportsmanship, and hopefully many Norwegian triumphs, but we will also report on the human rights challenges in Russia — as we always do. We don't want to boycott the Olympics — not this time, either.
- But we believe in knowledge, engagement — and sometimes also campaign journalism. And Dagbladet has a long tradition doing this — for example focusing on ending violence and bullying in schools.