Voice Project has launched a new campaign called ‘Imprisoned For Art’, which aims to draw attention to musicians and artists who’ve been detained in various countries for expressing their opinions through creative means.
The campaign has brought aboard a number of celebrities including actor and musician Johnny Depp, Rage Against The Machine & Prophets Of Rage’s Tom Morello, Nadya Toklokonnikova of Pussy Riot and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.
‘Imprisoned For Art’ features the various celebrities in mug shots, holding the names of those imprisoned and the length of their sentences. The imprisoned artists include singers, filmmakers, painter and journalists, and are being held in a string of different countries where free speech is being stifled, including Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The project has been summarised by Voice Project in a statement:
“Freedom of Expression -— it’s easy to take it for granted until it’s gone. We speak up for those who speak out, for those imprisoned around the globe for having raised their voice in dissent. We have to stand up for each other, no matter the distance, no matter the borders. You never know when you’ll need the same in return.”
The campaign is an artist-led effort partially conceived by Alex Ebert, who says, “Solidarity is all we have in a fight against systematic oppression. It is the one true super power within human reach.
“The privileged standing with the oppressed. The comfortable with the uncomfortable. To oppress art is to oppress the spirit that makes art, and if another’s spirit is oppressed, mine cannot rest. So we give this small token for our oppressed friends, in solidarity.”
T-shirts with the mug shots are available until the 12th of December here, with all funds going to the project.
The following celebrities have been paired with the following imprisoned artists:
- Johnny Depp with filmmaker Oleg Sentsov imprisoned in Russia
- Alex Ebert with singer Trần Vũ anh Bình imprisoned in Vietnam
- Peter Gabriel with author and journalist Dawit Isaak imprisoned in Eritrea
- Tom Morello with painter and journalist Tom Dundee imprisoned in Thailand
- Ana Tijoux with poet Ashraf Fayadh imprisoned in Saudi Arabia
- Nadya Tolokonnikova with singer Nûdem Durak imprisoned in Turkey
Catch images of the artists involved, below.