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Tooji - the Pussy Riot of Norway?

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Tooji - the Pussy Riot of Norway?

Music video promoting gay rights divides Norwegian society.

With the controversial music video titled “The Father Project”, made as official anthem for Oslo Pride 2015, the Iranian born Norwegian artist and the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 participant, Tooji, hoped to kickstart a debate about the equality of homosexual people in the eyes of religion. And he sure succeeded. 

After the video, showing simulated love scene between Tooji and a male priest in a church, was released on June 8th, it quickly caused media frenzy and provoked strong positive and negative reactions in Norway - a progressive Scandinavian country. 

In a statement published on Sunday, the bishop of Oslo condemned the video as a desecration, stating: "Footage of intimate scenes in front of the altar is never acceptable, no matter what the video’s message might be or who the artist might be. It is an abuse of the church, and a misuse of its holy room.”  

But the Church of Norway is not united in the heated discussion that has occupied the Norwegian media for days and has spread on the internet. 

Gyrid Gunnes, priest, scientist and artist, compared the importance of Tooji’s video to that of the Pussy Riot’s performance in Moscow 2012. 

“In Tooji’s video, homosexual love takes over the actual symbol of the church, its room, and shows us what is not possible to see within the frame of the church’s heterosexual understanding of marriage. The community is smiling and watching an explicit erotic scene, as friendly as the community witnessing church’s own ritual for the explicit erotica between heterosexuals, namely the religious ritual of wedding,” she wrote in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

In a separate video, Tooji spoke out against religious theology, that claims God does not accept gay people: 

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Petter Ruud-Johansen

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Oslo Pride 2015

Oslo Pride is the largest Pride festival in Norway. ​Oslo Pride is a ten day long festival.
The programme in 2015 consists of over 130 free events - debates, workshops and parties.

The three main pillars of the festival is:
1. Pride House (free entrance: the political arena at the House of Litterature June 19.-21)
2. Pride Park (free shows, conserts and more at Spikersuppa - in the middle of Oslo - June 24.-27)
3. Oslo Pride Parade (June 27th).

2.000 persons visited Pride House in 2014, 50.000 visited Pride Park and 20.000 marched in the parade.

Oslo Pride were the hosts of EuroPride 2014.

Oslo Pride
Oslo Pride
Tollbugata 24
0157 Oslo
Norway