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The Spanish activist group No Somos Delito has come up with a very creative way to protest a new law passed by the Spanish parliament. The group organized the world’s first holographic protest in response to a law that bans protests in front of government buildings. This form of protest takes advantage of a loophole in the law, because projections of light are not actually banned in the current text of the law.

The citizen safety laws, also known as gag laws by critics, have been widely criticized in Spain and internationally for their restrictions on free speech and public protest. Under the laws, any protest in front of government buildings is illegal. Additionally, filming or photographing police officers is also banned. Breaking these laws could result in fines worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The use of holograms is a smart idea that draws attention to the freedom that is being denied to Spanish citizens. Carlos Escaño, the spokesperson for No Somos Delito, stated, “The law is surreal — so surreal that it drove us to do something equally surreal.” Escaño also stated that the group wanted to start an international conversation about the laws, and holograms were a great way to do that. “It’s about art, about going to a place beyond discourse,” he said, “It’s about touching emotion.”

The protest in front of the Spanish parliament on April 10 was the result of months of hard work. No Somos Delito asked supporters from around the world to contribute to the protest by submitting recorded video of themselves. These recordings were combined with studio images to create over 2000 images for the hour-long protest. The Holograms were projected on a 7 foot tall semitransparent sheet of fabric.

No Somos Delito is hard at work creating multiple forms of protest, so that it can not be silenced by the government. As creative as their ideas might be, it still remains to be seen whether they will have any effect on getting these authoritarian laws overturned.

Do you think holographic protests are an appropriate response to the citizen safety laws in Spain? Leave your comment below.

Max Michael

Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

  • Rakeela Deskairn

    Bans on photographing police officers are “citizen safety” only in the writings of Orwell. Either the politicians are illiterate, or they’re convinced that voters are.

  • ArsCortica

    It does not at all help that Spain quite literally was a dictatorship until 1975, and that a more than good portion of the Spanish voters lived through this Franco era. You would think that it would be especially these people that would get on the barricade over this sort of arbitrary laws (and rightly so), but apparently many of them have grown so used to be obedient little yes-men that it all falls back to the Spanish youth – which fortunately has more than enough time to protest due to he rampart youth employment rates.

    As for the holographic protests – some people would call this cowardly, but I do think it is an ingenious way to show the lawmakers the finger – both because the protests still continue, and because they can’t do jack about it so long as the protestors use holograms, i.e., are not physically present in front of the government buildings.