1. In early December, New York-based visual artist Bjarne Melgaard joined forces with Norwegian pop artist Annie to send President Putin a message concerning his anti-LGBT legislation.
2. The result was a song celebrating “the universal right to kiss the one you love wherever you like – regardless of sexual orientation.”
3. The “Russian Kiss” video, produced by Richard X, was released to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
4. In the video, same-sex couples kiss while Annie sings: “Show your love for the lovers / the others, the fighters, outsiders / people like you.”
5. “Don’t give up / maybe then they can understand / it is right that you fight for your love demands.”
6. The dance track’s vocals also feature two Russian men groaning, recruited by Annie herself.
14. Annie says of the video, which was directed by Vice photographer Richard Kern:
The Winter Olympics are also deep emotions: interpersonal, national, and global. Millions of TV-viewers are witness to these emotions. Usually, they find their expression in embraces and kisses. You can observe this at the finishing area and during the medal ceremony — teammates embracing each other, winners kissing their partners.