Hello, dear friends!
My name is Ani Lorak. I am an artist from Ukraine, where I have been creating popular music and creative entertainment for the last 15 years, since I was 14.
This year I had the honor to represent my country at the Eurovision Song Contest. My participation I dedicated to raising public awareness around world’s surging HIV/AIDS epidemic, in particular around the stigma and discrimination towards the HIV-positive people.
I do believe in the transformative power of music and I am convinced that established artists have a responsibility to use their influence and authority for the benefit of the vulnerable members of the society.
That is why performing at the ESC 2008 seemed to me as an invaluable chance to promote important social cause. Eurovision indeed turned out a powerful platform, messages from which reached out to millions of people worldwide.
I thought that by advocating for urgent international action from the stage of the largest musical event in Europe I would make a small but meaningful contribution to the global movement against HIV/AIDS contagion.
In 2004 I served as a UN Goodwill Ambassador on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine. My charity work included numerous visits to hospitals where HIV-infected people are treated. But this year God gave me a chance to talk about this problem on an international level. This road brought me to Antwerp where I met with Ninette, Javier and Andre from Designers Against AIDS and we decided that we should join our efforts in an attempt to help those who are HIV-positive.
As part of our cooperation Ninette and Javier gave their expert comments to the documentary film You Can’t Get AIDS Through Friendship which features two Europeans from different countries but both living with HIV. Together we decided to create a special collection of T-shirts to be distributed at Eurovision to raise awareness on the problem among Eurovision fans, journalists and viewers. These T-shirts featured pictures from the comics book about fight against AIDS. In this book Shady Lady fights against Mr.AIDS using her main weapon – the needle with the red thread (of course, you know where this needle comes from – take a closer look at DAA logo).
Also I would like to thank Javier and Ninette for sending me the canvas by Erwin Olaf. We used it to decorate the venue of the Ukrainian party in Belgrade. Journalists and fans went crazy about this piece of art taking millions of pictures in front of it.
And of course I want to say a big “thank you” to Ninette and Javier for all their support at Eurovision!
Now I am looking forward to our further joint projects. We have to join efforts because together we are strong!
*Pictured: Ani Lorak with Ninette Murk and Andrés Pina (DAA)