A small airplane is circling above the town of Ivianets in Minsk region. Did the teddy bears really land in Belarus? A video confirming the information on the daring action of the Swedes has been uploaded to Youtube.
The video was reportedly uploaded by user Per Cromwell, one of the founders of Swedish advertising agency Studio Total that claim responsibility for the action. “Teddybears for Free speech” is a pro-bono campaign for Charter 97 carried out by Swedish advertising agency Studio Total (read more about them here) and 879 volunteering plush toys,“ Studio Total web site says.
The campaign aims to raise awareness on the situation in Belarus, where those who speaks against the government, even journalists, are imprisoned and tortured. “After all, we prosper in a world that writes 8000 articles about our “the-worlds-biggest iPod-dock”. A world that, last month only, wrote 109 000 articles about Kim Kardashian and 79 on the Belarusian opposition. … So we bought a plane and put together a campaign that our professional instinct told us had at least a tiny chance of slipping in the words “Belarus” and “free speech” somewhere between the news about iPhone 38 and Miss Kardashians cat” the organisers confess.
According to them, the idea came from a campaign where Belarusian artists [youth initiative Zmena – Belsat] had made a small demonstration with plush animals whose owner had been arrested.
The entire campaign was paid for by Studio Total. “The airplane we flew in was our own, and we piloted it ourselves. We DO NOT support breaking of international law. But when it really comes down to it the only law you should follow is your heart,” they stressed.
The Belarusian Ministry of Defence rebuted the information on the teddy bear troop drop. Belarusian servicemen called the video released online “fabricated”. “Experts discovered rough work with the usage of Photoshop and video editing,” the Ministry officials said. Lithuanian border guards gave no comment referring to the fact that an inspection is being carried out.