The UNHATE project
The UNHATE Foundation, desired and founded by the Benetton Group, seeks to contribute to the creation of a new culture of tolerance, to combat hatred, building on Benetton’s underpinning values. It is another important step in the group's social responsibility strategy: not a cosmetic exercise, but a contribution that will have a real impact on the international community, especially through the vehicle of communication, which can reach social players in different areas. The Foundation will organise initiatives involving different stakeholders, from the new generations to the institutions, international organisations and NGOs, right through to civil society.The Foundation also aims to be a think tank, attracting personalities and talents from the fields of culture, economy, law and politics, and people who have gone from simple citizens to leaders of movements, distinguishing themselves through their ideas and actions against the causes and effects of hatred.
In line with the spirit of active participation and concrete action that drives the UNHATE project, the pictures of the United Colors of Benetton campaign are central to a billposting operation: a plan of unannounced live actions. Groups of young people will post the manifestos showing kissing leaders on the walls of locations symbolic of the desperately-needed peace process: Tel Aviv, New York, Rome, Milan, Paris.
The film UNHATE by French director Laurent Chanez, tells of the precarious balance and complex interweaving between the drive to hate and the reasons to love. It is built on a crescendo of deliberately ambiguous images: eyes flirting or glowering, people embracing or fighting, insurrections or celebrations, brawls or wild dancing. Extreme moments of conflict or love: two fighters after a round, a couple who have just made love … or perhaps this too was a battle. The film will be available for viewing on the UNHATE, benetton.com and YouTube websites, as well as in top cinemas.
The UNHATE Foundation website brings together all the images from the United Colors of Benetton campaign and the various events, such as shots of the live actions in the world's hot spots. The photos and videos will go to make up a vast programme available online. On the UNHATE website there are also two ad hoc applications: UNHATE KISS WALL, which randomly chooses the pictures uploaded to the site by individuals, and unites them in a passionate kiss (a new kiss each time). And UNHATE LIST, a Twitter-based list of the things and people that are not hated, which is constantly updated by visitors.
The idea of tolerance in the United Colors of Benetton campaign will find further scope for application, equally tangible and symbolic, in the creation of an art installation, made using the empty bullet shells sent in by the inhabitants of war zones around the world. Fabrica's Cuban artist Erik Ravelo, who is also the creator of the Lana Sutra series of sculptures, will recycle this “war waste” to build a beautiful big dove of peace, UNHATE DOVE, four metres long, which will carry with it the Foundation's message of peace.