16 Illustrations That Protest Putin's Homophobia

By Christopher Harrity

Originally published on Advocate.com October 21 2013 7:00 AM ET

Anna Goodson was so disturbed by Russia's treatment of LGBT people that she organized a creative backlash.

Goodson explained the project's origins on her blog, saying, "I was wracking my brain to try to figure out a way to make a statement and possibly a difference. Since, illustration is a big part of my life, I had an idea."

Goodson then sent a memo to everyone she works with at the Anna Goodson Illustration Agency and asked "if they wanted to 'make a statement.'" A sampling from the resulting gallery of original illustrations is on the following pages. 

They include Olympic references, tied overtly to Russia's hosting the games in Sochi next year but with a sometimes subtle message about equality. They include quintessential Russian imagery, including the turrets of its most notable architecture. All of them are a way of showing dissent toward Vladimir Putin's so-called gay propaganda law and others that make life untenable for LGBT people in Russia.

"We are often asked to create images for clients but here was an opportunity for them to create something meaningful, personal and from the heart," Goodson explained, saying the response was "overwhelming."

"We believe that Art Speaks Louder Than Words and we wanted to show the world that our agency and illustrators don’t support discrimination and violence of any kind, regardless of Religion, Race or Sexual Orientation," she wrote. "We hope that you will all share and post these illustrations and help make this a better and more tolerant world to live in."

Check out the images on the following pages.

Gary Neil

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Frank Flothmann


Hanna Melin

Jo Jo Ensslin

Judy Kaufmann

Julia Bereciartu

Katy Lemay

Laura Perez

Marie Lafrance

Marilyn Faucher

Nata Metlukh

Paul Blow

Phil Wheeler

Sebastien Thibault

Terry Wong