Putin a Rainbow


Campaign and website — 2013





In june 2013 the Russian parliament passed a law that prohibits “gay propaganda”. This includes a ban on the rainbow, the symbol of the gay community. In respons, putinarainbow.com asks people to creatively combine two conflicting symbols, Putin and the rainbow, in one image. The result is a happy marriage between the face of oppression and the symbol for equality.






A selection of submissions

As soon as the website was launched, we received many submissions, from the Netherlands as well as other countries. It’s interesting to see how different images have different qualities: most are funny, some are quirky, some just plain weird and a few images have an iconic quality.

On April 9th we received our most iconic submission from Pablo el Terrible who uploaded his Drag Putin a la Warhol to our website. This image was then shared and used so often, off- and online, that it became an icon in itself. Most people used the image as part of their own protest signs or banners, either against Putin’s ‘gay propaganda’ legislation, or a year after, against the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. Some people used the image to sell T-shirts or mugs (the tragic fate of every icon), of course without consent of the original creator and most probably for their own financial gain.

More than three years after its creation, Pablo’s Drag Putin even made it to Russia’s official list of extremist materials; a list with no less than 4074 items, composed and published by the Russian Ministry of Justice. Pablo’s image can be found at number 4071 under the following description:  ‘A poster depicting a person similar to the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, on the face of which make-up - eyelashes and lips are made up, which, according to the author / poster's intention, should serve as a hint at the alleged non-standard sexual orientation of the President of the Russian Federation. [...] (decision of the Central District Court of Tver of 05/11/2016).’ 








Drag Putin a la Warhol — Submitted by Pablo el Terrible






Various uses of Pablo’s Drag Putin a la Warhol



Various protests









Unauthorised T-shirt rip-offs


To Russia With Love Austria



Putin a Rainbow mash up by Naomi, Marc and Natasha
Russian lyrics on YouTube







Putin a Rainbow
Website and campaign
2013
On request of COC Amsterdam
Made with Brigiet van den Berg
Website by Tobias Urff, built with tumblr
Press
Joop (NL)
NRC Handelsblad  (NL)
David Swatling (UK)
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (EU)
Our age is 13 (FR)
Dag Medya (TR)
Americablog (US)
Dressed like Machines (DE)
queer.de (DE)
sadanduseless.com
neuewelle (NL)
Know Your Meme (US) 
The Guardian (UK)
South China Morning Post (HK)
The Moscow Times (RU)

Exhibited
Resolute Design Changes - MOTI, Casino Luxembourg, Lodz Design Festival

Mark