Kate Moss and Bobby Gillespie are just two of the high-profile names to have teamed up with Amnesty International and SHOWstudio, a fashion film website, to support and raise awareness about Russia’s LGBTI community. Together, they have launched Proud to Protest, a video project featuring renowned figures from across the fashion industry.
In a series of 20-second short videos, participants from milliner Philip Treacy to designer Henry Holland can be seen removing balaclavas to reveal their identities. The creative forces behind the project are SHOWstudio’s founder Nick Knight and designer Gareth Pugh, known for his experimental work in fashion film.
As part of the project, Pugh collaborated with filmmaker Ruth Hogben to create another short film, described on the SHOWstudio website as “a meditation on the themes of chaos and control, illusion and propaganda, and the need for a unified response to Russia’s recent actions”.
The plight of Russia’s LGBTI community has drawn international attention, in particular, in the lead-up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Since the passage of a “gay propaganda” law last summer, human rights organisations have reported a rise in homophobic violence. Under the law, it is a criminal offence to spread “gay propaganda” to minors.
Commenting on the project Gareth Pugh said: “The existence of such animosity towards the LGBTI community in Russia is abhorrent. I can only hope that this project helps to raise awareness of what is such a desperate series of events.” The first films in the series will be screened on 14 February to coincide with the beginning of London Fashion Week and the Sochi Olympics.