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Kazakhs Flustered Over Controversial Gay Club Poster

Studio 69 Poster

Studio 69 in Almaty, Kazakhstan set up shop at the intersection of Pushkin and Kurmangazy, streets named after Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly. To make the club's location memorable, an ad poster was designed showing Pushkin and Kumangazy themselves the lips. Cue moral outrage.

Honecker20 activists filed a lawsuit on August 25th claiming the poster "insulted both Kazakhs and Russians," while a descendant of Kurmangazy is threatening to file suit for defamation. Meanwhile, everyone is overlooking that the poster, in addition to being clever and memorable, riffs on the photograph from 1979 of East German leader Erich Honecker and the Soviet Union’s Leonid Brezhnev kissing in East Berlin. Still, even though the poster won an award for advertising firm Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan, the firm backpedaled saying, "[W]e officially announce that this poster will not be printed, posted or published in paid media.”

Fortunately, everything lives forever on the internet so it's only a matter of time before an individual prints his own posters to hang.

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  1. Considering the name of the club, the poster could have been a lot more controversial...

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 29, 2014 7:17:52 PM

  2. Yeah, I know that you Americans do not respect your writers, and artists, so you see nothing wrong with this. This is pretty offensive as it uses people who innovated and enriched their fields, made a history of their countries, for a cheap stunt, with no respect. What would you say if someone displayed a picture of Lincoln kissing Ghandi in New York?

    Posted by: Saturnalia | Aug 29, 2014 8:37:10 PM

  3. Saturnalia is right. I mean whoever heard of men who might want to kiss other men innovating and enriching their fields, especially writing and music. It's almost as silly as thinking a U.S. president like Lincoln could be gay...

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 29, 2014 9:04:28 PM

  4. Did I miss the article about the guy whose "boyfriend" intentionally infected him with hiv, or is this site ignoring that because it goes against the "all AIDS patients are saints" ethos?

    Posted by: Carmelo | Aug 29, 2014 9:29:01 PM

  5. Andy Towle and your dirty hipster writers: do you not feel it would be of benefit to your readers to report on negative effects of hiv, and also of "gift givers" for your younger readers? I know you like to pretend that hiv is like an occasional hangnail, but it's not. Grow up and tell people that the drugs might not help them, there are people out there actively looking to give it to them, and ultimately it will be a most likely painful death. I know this isn't a place for this, but since you won't report on the predatory gift giver, it's as good as any place.

    Posted by: Carmelo | Aug 29, 2014 9:42:09 PM

  6. What those artists stand for is part of history and culture. Culture and the world go on as living things. They will be reinterpreted regardless of how hard one tries to keep them in a sacred box.
    If they were depicted in another anachronism say driving in a convertible, there would be no push back. It's homophobia that makes this a big deal not a lack of "respect."
    In any event maybe they would have kissed had they ever met - passionately or otherwise.

    Posted by: Markt | Aug 29, 2014 9:46:04 PM

  7. BOBN: Great work. Truly well executed.

    Posted by: LMFAO! | Aug 29, 2014 10:48:52 PM

  8. Lincoln kissing Ghandi?
    We call this anachronism or ignorance of history.

    Posted by: simon | Aug 29, 2014 11:27:45 PM

  9. An image of Lincoln and Gandhi kissing in NY would be odd, but would no be considered offensive to most people. We don't put our politicians on pedestals either.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Aug 29, 2014 11:37:14 PM

  10. Some quality crazy from Carmelo and Saturnalia. Thanks!

    Posted by: Mikey M | Aug 29, 2014 11:55:35 PM

  11. "What would you say if someone displayed a picture of Lincoln kissing Ghandi in New York?"

    Who wouldn't think that was absolutely brilliant?

    "it uses people who innovated and enriched their fields, made a history of their countries, for a cheap stunt, with no respect."

    Don't be a p∪ssy. These people aren't sacred. Your demands that people treat these figures according to your delicate sensibilities—as if you own them—is what disrespects them. And what does "made a history of their countries" mean? You can't even string together a decent insult, because your English sucks.

    "Yeah, I know that you Americans do not respect your writers, and artists, so you see nothing wrong with this."

    You aren't in a position to know anything about Americans. What Americans say is: if you don't like it, make your own f∪⊂king art, p∪ssy.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 30, 2014 12:02:48 AM

  12. lmao bobn killed it though

    this is an awesome and clever ad

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 30, 2014 2:44:38 AM

  13. Bravo BobN!

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Aug 30, 2014 5:43:04 AM

  14. Thank you JJ. And shut the phuk up CARMELO.

    Posted by: Squeeeevo | Aug 30, 2014 8:46:29 AM

  15. Saturnalia again raises his crazy head.

    Pushkin was more gay friendly than you. He could joke about the homosexuality of his friends and foes, in witty epigrams. To Wiegel, a friend who was posted to Kishinev at the time, he wrote indulgently about Wiegel’s proclivities like someone quite comfortable with his own heterosexuality. After calling Kishinev a boring dump, he suggests things might get better for Wiegel:

    Toward evening perhaps three handsome lads will come your way;
    But anyway, my friend,
    As soon as I have some free time I shall present myself;
    I’ll be happy to be of service to you
    With verse, with prose, with all my heart,
    But, Wiegel – have mercy on my ass! (Tr. Michael Green)

    And Kurmangazy began as a shepherd (!) and wrote traditional Kazakh pieces that were dedicated to a) revolution and b) male friendships. So who knows?

    It's the modern homophobes who get their khalats in a twist over this ad. And Saturnalia.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 30, 2014 11:24:27 AM

  16. It is not upon you to deem whether this is offensive or not KEVINVT. It is for the people , of whose countries, these people enriched culture, to deem if it is offensive.

    They seem to think it is.

    Differences in tradition and culture. I do not see anything wrong with Milo Manara art, yet USA SJWs claim he is a perverted pornographer. In Europe he is revered, in USA reviled.

    You wish you were as crazy as I am. But it seems you lean towards Little Kiwis special brand.

    Posted by: Saturnalia | Aug 31, 2014 7:01:50 PM

  17. You are so wrong, Saturnalia. How can you possibly know what offensive for Kazakhstan as a whole nation is? I AM a citizen, and for me it is quite alright. For someone it is probably not. Art can be offensive at times, but freedom of speech must be prioritized over traditionalist values.

    Posted by: Lily | Nov 1, 2014 2:02:06 PM

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