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Artist and activist ODEE in Freedom of Speech battle with multinational fishing firm.

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Reykjavík, Iceland – [13th June 2023] – Internationally recognized artist and cultural activist, ODEE, is currently embroiled in a significant legal confrontation with the multinational fishing corporation, Samherji. This groundbreaking case revolves around the fundamental principles of freedom of speech and artistic expression, as ODEE faces allegations of copyright infringement and other violations stemming from his thought-provoking artwork, titled “We’re Sorry.”

ODEE’s artistic installation, which premiered on May 11, has captured global attention for its powerful critique of Samherji’s alleged involvement in the ‘Fishrot Files’ scandal. This scandal, initially exposed by WikiLeaks in collaboration with international media outlets in 2019, shed light on the purported malpractices of Samherji in Namibia.

“We’re Sorry” serves as an apology from Iceland to Namibia, employing a satirical website as a crucial component of the artwork. ODEE meticulously designed a replica of Samherji’s official website on a UK domain, featuring a prominent “We’re Sorry” statement. The artwork aims to expose and satirize the actions attributed to Samherji in Namibia, stimulating critical discussions about corporate responsibility and the transformative power of art as a vehicle for socio-political commentary.

Despite the artwork’s intentions and impact, Samherji has filed a case against ODEE in the High Court in London, alleging copyright, trademark, and passing off violations. This legal action has resulted in an interim injunction, temporarily forcing the takedown of the artwork website.

ODEE argues that Samherji’s legal maneuvers not only impede his right to freedom of expression but also hinder the important and meaningful discourse that his artwork has sparked. The case has sparked significant cultural commentary and public debates, particularly on social media platforms, raising pertinent questions about the delicate balance between corporate interests and artistic freedom.

Nonetheless, ODEE remains steadfast in his resolve. In order to counter the interim injunction and support his legal fight against Samherji, ODEE has launched a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdJustice. The campaign aims to raise a minimum of £50,000, with ODEE emphasizing the importance of artistic freedom, freedom of speech, and corporate accountability in his cause.

“I urge those who believe in the power of artistic expression, freedom of speech, and corporate responsibility to stand with me in this legal battle against Samherji,” ODEE asserts. Supporters can contribute to the crowdfunding campaign at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/were-sorry/.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC, Samherji itself is under criminal investigation in multiple countries, including Namibia and Iceland, due to its alleged involvement in the ‘Fishrot’ scandal. The allegations, which encompass corruption, bribery, and unlawful trading practices within the fishing industry, further emphasize the significance and urgency of ODEE’s artwork.

 

Despite the ongoing legal battle, the “We’re Sorry” artwork continues to evolve and inspire conversations on a global scale. ODEE remarks, “This case is an example of how art can challenge power and provoke change. The overwhelming support I’ve received is a testament to people’s belief in freedom of speech and the importance of holding corporations accountable.”

For further information, interviews, or media inquiries, please contact:

ODEE (Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson) Address: Austurhlíð 2, Reykjavík, Iceland Phone: +354 661-8345 Email: odee@odeei.is Website: www.odee.is

About ODEE: ODEE (Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson) is an internationally recognized artist and cultural activist. His work explores themes of social justice, corporate responsibility, and freedom of expression. ODEE’s “We’re Sorry” artwork is a powerful critique of Samherji’s alleged wrongdoings, shedding light on the intersection of art, activism, and the fight against corporate misconduct. For more information, please visit www.odee.is.

About Samherji: Samherji is a multinational fishing corporation that has come under scrutiny due to its alleged involvement in the ‘Fishrot Files’ scandal. The company is currently facing criminal investigations in multiple countries, reflecting the serious nature of the accusations. Samherji’s legal action against ODEE raises crucial questions about the boundaries of artistic freedom and corporate accountability.

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