Attending a costume party sounds no harm or doing anything rebellious, but it did in an unconditional way via a Facebook event.
No person shall by reason of his creed or descent be deprived of access to the full enjoyment of civic and political rights.” – Constitutional act of Denmark, 1970
This is a law that also bans its own focal point on summer. This year in June, the Danish parliament announced that from August 1st it will be illegal for people to wear Islamic veils in public, in Denmark. A law that is not only discriminating towards the less than 200 women in Denmark who wears Islamic veils, but is also in conflict with the Danish constitution.
A news media company, Ekstra Bladet who has a long history in Denmark for lashing out at the people in power and expose their hidden agendas, this case was no different. The law is clearly symbolic and does nothing but alienate the minority of Muslims in the country.
Only a few days after the announcement, the Danish ad agency Hjaltelin Stahl created a Facebook event, called ‘The longest masquerade in Denmark’. Starting on August 1st, till the law has been reversed. Directed by Kenneth Kaadtmann from Stahl, the masquerade works as a tool for people to freely wear whatever they want to wear. It clearly states that if you’re on your way to a costume party, you’re allowed to wear head garments. Simply a loophole the lawmakers failed to see for themselves, and also a loophole they need to expose their agenda.
The masquerade did not only function as a tool, but also worked as a debate starter, and it worked well, as the event has had more than 15.000 interactions and counts. The masquerade was featured on live TV, radio and other news media and the debate spread to international media, which has caused a resistance amongst the Danes.
There are stories about people who resist the law almost everyday by refusing to press charges or simply by wearing head garments in public. From local business’ to musicians who wears head garments on stage, to artist who creates burqa art and fashion designers who disrupted Copenhagen Fashion Week by making Islamic veils part of their collections.
Trying to ban the Burqa ban with a costume party? The masquerade is not only a of topical and real-time marketing, but proof that corporate activism can unite citizens across social stratification and hopefully in the end, get the government to reverse the law. Hjaltelin Stahl and Ekstra Bladet have turning a simple social media feature – into a tool for liberation.