They sparked controversy in Tel Aviv last May when they waved the Palestinian flag. Now, Hatari are proudly expressing their opinions on behalf of the LGBTQ community in Russia. On Saturday, the provocative Icelandic techno band performed their ESC 2019 song “Hatrið mun sigra” in Moscow, with dancer Andrean Sigurgeirsson unfurling his rainbow-coloured wings to the Russian crowd.
Designed by Alexía Rós Gylfadóttir and Haraldur Levi, the wings weren’t only a fashion statement. They were a true political statement against the anti-LGBT policies of the Slavic nation. In 2013, Russia introduced a law that prohibited exposing minors to so-called “gay propaganda”. As well, Amnesty International has criticised the Russian government for its lack of action against Chechnya’s persecution of LGBT people.
But Hatari wouldn’t perform in the country without leaving their mark. At last show of the first leg of their extensive Europe Will Crumble tour, Hatari’s dancer Andrean Sigurgeirsson spread his feathered rainbow wings and the message on behalf of the country’s queer community.
After the show, Andrean took to social media to thank the people behind the action. He also told the story of the LGBT community’s oppression in Russia, raising awareness of the issue.
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Our existence is a reality Russian “gay propaganda laws” of 2013 punishes and bans the promotion of non-traditional relations to minors. The law is disguised as a way to protect children but what it actually does is that it increases the stigmatization of LGBTQ+ people in society. The law violates people’s rights to freedom of speech, and the law effectively bans all public demonstrations or events speaking in favour of LGBT rights. Many important LGBTQ+ support networks have been banned on the internet because of this law. Gay pride parades are met with much resistance by local authorities across Russia, On April 2017 Checnyan (Russian) authorities began an anti-LGBTQ+ purge where 100 men were arrested and tortured for being gay, many were murdered. In 2019, 40 LGBTQ+ men and women were arrested and tortured in another purge. Russian authorities do not care about queer people, they actively try to harm, torture and murder LGBTQ+ people in Russia. The Russian President, Government and police give a silent consent to these crimes. LGBTQ+ people live in fear as they are being discriminated against and attacks on queer people often go unreported by Police. Politicians and LGBT rights activists are murdered in Russia, advocates risk their lives and often lose them trying to improve LGBT peoples’ lives in Russia. This is for you, the brave, beautiful and kind-hearted human beings who are LGBTQ+ in Russia. Thank you for sharing your stories with me and I hope one day that Russia will rise from their hate and learn that love is simply love. Thanks to @alexiarosg and @haraldurlevy who helped me create the wings ? [email protected]
“Our existence is a reality”, the Icelander then wrote on Instagram. “Russian ‘gay propaganda laws’ of 2013 punishes and bans the promotion of non-traditional relations to minors. The law is disguised as a way to protect children but what it actually does is that it increases the stigmatization of LGBTQ+ people in society.”
The Hatari dancer then listed facts about the country’s ill-treatment of its queer citizens. From the resistance against gay parades throughout the country to the “purges” against LGBT people that took place in Chechnya in 2017 and 2019, the dancer reminded his Instagram followers well how terrible the situation in Russia is these days.
Andrean signed off with an empowering message and a dedication to the people who needed support most. “This is for you, the brave, beautiful and kind-hearted human beings who are LGBTQ+ in Russia. Thank you for sharing your stories with me and I hope one day that Russia will rise from their hate and learn that love is simply love.”
Hatari’s Europe Will Crumble tour will continue in January 2020.
What do you think? Did Hatari make a statement with their rainbow wings? Sound off in the comments below!