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When Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in 1978, he did so to create a symbol and an icon for the LGTB community. A symbol, recognisable across the world, that people could use to express their pride.

 

Unfortunately, 40 years later, there are still countries in which homosexuality is persecuted, sometimes even by jail sentences, and in which the rainbow flag is forbidden.

 

Russia is one of these countries. 

 

Because of this, we have taken advantage of the fact the country is hosting the World Cup at the same time as Pride Month, to denounce their behaviour and take the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia.
Yes, in the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride.

 

How? In a way that no one would ever suspect. Football shirts.

 

Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Six countries. Six brave LGBT activists, that together, form the flag that toured around iconic sites in Russia, traveling to every corner to fight against a struggle that will never be silenced.  

 

 
 

OUR FLAG

 
 
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Marta Márquez

Writer. President of GALEHI Association of LGBT Families
Spanish. IG: @edea

“They called me and I didn´t even think twice about it. I almost fainted, although I won’t lie I was a little scared. This project unites my passions: activism, my love of travel, my family (our daughter is half Russian). I accepted the challenge knowing that it could be complicated. I know I did the right thing in being a part of it”.

 
 
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Eric Houter

Estate Agent
Dutch. IG: @erichouter

“I am not homosexual, nor bisexual. But when my brother called me, asking me to take his place, explaining that he couldn’t go but it was something that was very important, I knew what I had to do. Basically, what convinced me was brotherly love, as I’ve never been an activist, But then, when I understood the danger and the pressure of being out there, that reaffirmed by decision. I wanted to support. We need to see heterosexuals also fighting for this. And I am not only defending my brother’s rights, but everyone’s rights. The heart is big and should be free".

 
 
 
 
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Eloi Pierozan Junior

Marketing Manager. 
Brasileño. IG: @epjunior

“'Are you crazy?' My boyfriend asked me. 'It’s really dangerous'. 'I’m not worried about the risk, it’s a project that I really want to be involved in' I told him. And truthfully, it has been the most emotional project I have ever been taken part in. I come from a very conservative family from a small city in Brazil, so it hasn’t always easy for my sister and I, who is also gay. That is why I have been so excited to form part of our unexpected rainbow. I hope it touches the hearts of many people. It’s a call to love".

 
 
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Guillermo León

Office worker. Documentary maker.
Mexican. IG: @guille_leon

"On my way to the airport I was really nervous. My family and my husband were very worried but it is a really exciting project. We are looking to launch a message of empathy towards the homosexuals that are there, living in fear and that aren’t able to show their true selves. There was a time when I felt that way in Mexico and now I feel that I can live happily married, in a city that doesn’t discriminate (Barcelona), and I hope that everyone will be able to feel the same. I am very proud to have taken the flag to Russia".

 
 
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Vanesa Paola Ferrario

Audiovisual editor
Argentine. IG: @_vaneferrario_

“I think it’s a great idea. I said yes immediately and then ran home and cried in my flat. For me, Russia is a symbol of homophobia, with a government that allows discriminators to be protected by the law, and somewhere where people aren’t free to love. I was interested in this project because it allows us to use our voices for those that cannot. An idea that is subtle and yet so powerful at the same time. And I loved the reinterpretation of FIFA’s own shirts (an association known for its issues with male chauvinism). These are the steps we have to take to move the world forward”.

 
 
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Mateo Fernández Gómez

Advertising Art Director
Colombian. IG: @eldramateo

“I didn’t know what would happen and I was really scared. I can’t imagine being part of the LGTB community in Russia. Where I live I have been given the space to be whoever I want to be, and this is why I wanted to come and protest in a place where others don’t have the same comfort. At first, I was intrigued in the project from an advertising perspective, as an interesting executional idea, but being there it has really made me realise that this is real life, I became aware of the dark side of Russia and I heard so many stories. I hope that this makes its all the way to Putin and that things can be changed”.

 
 
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For press enquiries and questions,
please contact us at contact@thehiddenflag.com


Thanks to Primo Content, Javier Tles (photo), Michelle Cassis (video) and to everyone involved in this beautiful project.
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