Have you noticed our beautiful outside back cover with Absolut’s #KISSWITHPRIDE artwork? They’ve been big supporters of HISKIND and our team of LGBT+ creatives.
They’ve also been fighting for equality since 1981 and to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, they’ve launched Kiss With Pride, a project celebrating queer people from the 72 countries where it is still illegal to be gay.
Curated by Absolut and in support of Stonewall, individuals from the 72 countries where homosexuality is still illegal were invited to come together and express love in its purest state – with a kiss. A series of photographs were taken by celebrated photographer Sam Bradley, each capturing an intimate, passionate moment, albeit anonymously.
The images were unveiled at a launch event last night (26th July) at the Houses of Parliament, alongside speeches from several LGBT+ activists and campaigners. The photographs will soon be rolled out nationwide as part of a poster and digital campaign, as well as featuring in print ads in various national newspapers and magazines. They will also be exhibited as a collection at East London’s Protein Gallery (31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3EY) from 3rd to 6th August. Keep an eye out for them along the parade route at Brighton & Hove Pride, too.
Sam Bradley explained why he wanted to be a part of the project: “I was drawn to the Kiss With Pride campaign because the idea was so pure. I knew I had to be involved, it’s quite rare for advertising to be for a cause without it feeling disingenuous. This felt absolutely natural and true. The more people that see these images the better. And not just in progressive cities like London and New York. I would really like the images to reach people outside of that bubble and to start a constructive conversation.”
Absolut have been champions of equal rights since 1879, incorporating the rainbow flag into the design of their bottle for many years, initially in collaboration with Gilbert Baker, the original designer of the flag.
They are a proud parter of Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT+ charity. This year, they have created a #kisswithpride snapchat lens to support the charity, with £1 donated to Stonewall for each unique use. (Full terms and conditions can be found here.)
The campaign follows on from their recent Equal Love film, which also uses the kiss as a metaphor for equality, acceptance and love. “Love sees no color, needs no label, and makes no judgment,” reads the description. “At Absolut, we’ve supported equal love since the day we were founded.”
So when you grab yourself a copy of HISKIND, be that from a gay bar, coffee shop or hotel lounge and see Absolut’s back page boasting the pride colours with volume, turn to your lovers, queer friends, family or allies and give them a kiss. Because sometimes, just being ourselves is a political move in its own right.
Follow @AbsolutUK and visit www.KissWithPride.com for more information on the campaign and upcoming projects.