Yoko Ono's peace messages light up Norwegian cities
This week, the world-renowned artist's peace messages will light up from billboards across the country.
Monday morning, people rushing to work in Oslo, Norway, got a little break from the November darkness: 30 children from The Norwegian Girls Choir perfomed John Lennon’s “Imagine” in front of a large poster with peace messages from Yoko Ono:
"THINK PEACE – ACT PEACE – SPREAD PEACE – IMAGINE PEACE – PEACE is POWER"
- Yoko Ono
The campaign is a collaboration between Yoko Ono's studio, Clear Channel and the Nobel Peace Center, and takes place in connection with the Peace Center opening an exhibition of Yoko Ono's work on 1 December.
"The peace messages formulated by Yoko Ono and John Lennon during the Vietnam war are, unfortunately, just as relevant today. We hope the campaign will make people wake up and want to get engaged. For Yoko Ono, the message of peace, activism and art go hand in hand", says Nobel Peace Center director Kjersti Fløgstad.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon started their advertising campaigns for peace as early as 1969 with their iconic "WAR IS OVER! If you want it' campaign. Just before Christmas, with the Vietnam war as backdrop, they orchestrated a worldwide propagation of the peace message on large billboards in 12 big cities across the world.
The couple’s large-scale demonstrations for peace had started earlier that same year. Just after their wedding in March 1969, they organized what they called “Bed-Ins for Peace” where they invited the press to their hotel rooms decorated with messages of peace and took questions from the journalists.
Since then, Yoko Ono has continued with public campaigns for peace. In March 2022, following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the message "IMAGINE PEACE" lit up the cities of New York, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Berlin, Rome, Melbourne, Tokyo and Seoul. Now a new version of the campaign is visible on screens in cities across Norway. All these campaigns are part of the larger idea of infiltrating the traditional advertising spaces to convey messages of art and peace. The spaces are donated by Clear Channel, and Dennis Højland Nyegaard, Country Manager at Clear Channel, believes it is important to use their platform for messages like this.
"Clear Channel wants to make a positive contribution to the environments we operate in. This campaign has a strong message that is extra meaningful in a time when war and suffering is all around", says Højland Nyegaard.