Interview to Ninette Murk (DAA)

[...] 2. Why did you think about Tokio Hotel for your H&M campaign ? They are a lot criticized by the medias so people could had boycott DAA because you work with them…
I knew that Tokio Hotel has a lot of very motivated fans in the age group of 12 – 24 years and that’s exactly the group of people we try to reach with our safe sex message! H&M didn’t want them at first, they thought they only had fans in Germany ;-) But I persuaded them and now they are very happy that they agreed!

3. Were you surprised of the support for DAA from their fans ? Did it ever happened before that the fans of an artist gave a massive support or start fan action with your products ?
I was extremely surprised! Never before did we get such massive support as from the TH fans.

4. On Internet , Tokio Hotel fans gave a massive support to a book. The Forbidden Floor, from the French author Caroline Sauvageot, is not published yet but like she offers the first part to read for free, Tokio Hotel fans from all over the world translated this beginning in English, German, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Portuguese and Serbian ! They all love this novel about the life of a rock band very similar to Tokio Hotel and the way the author explain through several characters, how it’s like to be a fan and what can be the relationship between a band and their fans. Why did you like in this novel ?
I like the way that the writer engages the fans, that they also helped with translating and that the book deals with aspects of being a successful band that many people don’t think about: feeling lonely sometimes or afraid if being followed too closely by fans - and Caroline also writes about the importance of safe sex, so of course we like that ![...]

7. Talking about book, DAA release a book end of October, what it is about ?
One half of the book is about our projects with Designers against AIDS, with lots of photos (including the one of Tokio Hotel in the 2009 FAA campaign, of which we also plan to make a poster. The other half deals with my art collective ‘Beauty without Irony’, for which I contacted hundreds of artists (including Bill and Tom Kaulitz) to ask them to send me art works and photos of what for them represents pure beauty. The result is over 100 very inspiring photos. One of the photos of Bill and Tom was taken from the stage in Paris on July 14, 2007, in front of half a million fans, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Bill has said that this was one of the most beautiful moments in his life. The reason we show beauty in the book, is because it makes people realize that life is worth living. And if you feel that way, you will not risk your life or that of your partner by having unsafe sex.

We want to make the world a more beautiful place and you can do that in two ways: 1. Add more beauty (Beauty without Irony aims to do that) or 2. Take away some ugliness (this is what DAA does). They are two sides of the same coin and combined in the book !

8. Again, you worked with Tokio Hotel, what did you ask them this time ?
To send me images that for them meant true beauty.

9. The book is not released yet and yet the French Street Team plans promotion-actions to make of this book a best seller – at least in France. Are you in contact with the team ? Do you work together on the promotion-actions ?
We had a email saying they plan to do something in Lyon and I’m very curious to see what they will come up with - I’m sure it will be fantastic !

10. You and the author of the Forbidden Floor are from far the only adults who take the band Tokio Hotel serious, and then who also take us, their fans serious. Caroline Sauvageot have the aim to show in her novel all the work there is in the music and fashion industry, as well as she explains how an idol can be important for someone and mentions safe sex. And you also work with the fashion and music industry, and want to spread message to have safe sex. It seems you both have the goal to educate the youngs and you both face difficulties to get support. Tokio Hotel have serious message in their songs like “every every second because the time we waste never come back”, “don’t jump because nothing worth that we die for it”, “don’t do drugs because maybe it will be so good that you will never stop”. And lately in their new album, they say in a song that we should raise our voice and make some noise for the things we care. You three got serious messages then how can you explain that it’s not obvious to other people to help you ? How can you explain that they think you’re just dreamers and that you’ll never change the world ?
Well, that’s not strictly true, as more and more people, organizations and companies are willing to help DAA and spread the safe sex message in a cool way that appeals to youth. I think the problem in general is that adults often think they’re better (or know more) than teenagers. We will continue to support Tokio Hotel and the fans and I’m sure it works the other way around as well. Remember : action speaks louder than words. If people don’t see the good you’re doing, it’s their problem, not yours. Just continue, and one day they will see it. Or not. But even then, you still will have done lots of good - and what have THEY done? Don’t stress about it.

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