Parachuting Teddy Bears made a big statement in Belarus. For those of you who don’t know, Belarus is considered one of “the last dictatorships in Europe” according to this article in Time Magazine.
I would consider this a form of art, probably even performing art – and as an advocate of free speech I think this is a brave and daring act. The bears held signs that said “Belarus freedom” and “We support the Belarus struggle for free speech.”
At first the Belarus government tried to deny the event ever happened, but that didn’t last very long.
Apparently the stunt was carried out by a Swedish ad agency on behalf of a pro-democracy group named Charter 97.
In a statement on their site, the agency made it clear that they alone funded and flew the plane. They added that violating the airspace “of a dictatorship” was dangerous. “We DO NOT support breaking of international law,” the company said. “But when it really comes down to it, the only law you should follow is your heart.”
The Bombing sparked several reactions including government crackdowns, comparisons to Gaddafi (as in Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko), and apparently two officials being fired- including the head of the military in Belarus.
Well, I guess those teddy bears certainly got some attention- and well deserved I might add.