The Human Rights Foundation announces May 2 the recipients of the 2014 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. The 2014 laureates are Turkish performance artist Erdem Gündüz together with Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot.
The Human Rights Foundation founded the Havel Prize with the endorsement of Dagmar Havlová, widow of the late poet, playwright, and statesman Václav Havel. The Prize celebrates those who, with bravery and ingenuity, unmask the lie of dictatorship by living in truth. Past laureates include Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, Cuban civil society group the Ladies in White, North Korean democracy activist Park Sang Hak, Saudi women’s rights advocate Manal al-Sharif, and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Erdem Gündüz, known as the “Standing Man,” is a performance artist who rose to prominence during the 2013 anti-government protests in Turkey.
Pussy Riot are doing colorful balaclavas and perform in public places to draw attention to the abuses of Vladimir Putin’s regime.