The Motherland Monument in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is one of the tallest monuments in Europe. A piece of Soviet vestige, the statue was originally erected as a symbol of victory and protection.
However, in modern Ukraine, human rights are still not protected. With one of the highest rates of homophobia in Europe, defending the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in the country is not only hard, but is often dangerous.
Pride is important as it offers the community visibility and a platform to be seen and heard. But in 2020, pride events all over the world were cancelled due to the pandemic. This meant even lesser visibility for LGBTQIA+ folk. How could one be heard without being seen?
Since people could not march on the city streets, activists from Kyiv Pride decided to do the next best thing – and took the skies of the city instead.
Using a drone, the organisers ‘attached’ a huge Pride flag to the Motherland Monument, turning the controversial statue into a symbol of pride. The drone was manoeuvred in front of sword, giving the impression that the mother is waving a rainbow flag above the city.
Though the stunt looked fairly simple, a great deal of planning was required to achieve the feat. The organisers had to ensure that they pulled off the stunt in one go before they got stopped by the police, without causing any damage to the statue.
With meticulous planning and a little bit of luck, it all worked out. The Motherland Monument was given a new meaning and became a symbol of equality for the citizens of Ukraine.