Russian art anarchists …amazing actions

Voina (Russian: Война = War) is a Russian performance group known for their provocative and politically charged works of performance art. Voina was founded in 2007 by philosophy students at Lomonosov Moscow State University Oleg Vorotnikov and Natalia Sokol, In late February 2011 the activists Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolayev were released on bail after four months in Moscow police custody, in connection with an anti-corruption protest. They face up to seven years of prison. In response to the detention, graffiti artist Banksy decided to raise money for the artists. They have also been denounced by right-wing groups like the People’s Synod. Voina came to widespread public attention…  WIKIPEDIA

  Russian art anarchists …amazing actions

Written by Marlon Dolcy / 20 Dec 2010 /

Voina (or “War” to give them their English name) are a radical art group concerned with challenging the Russian establishment on important political issues such as attitudes towards homophobia, race, and the totalitarian actions of the state, through creating outrageous and provocative art performances in Russia. Two of their members; Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolayev have been detained for more than a month at St Petersburg Prison on false allegations. Don’t Panic spoke to the group.

Could you outline the ideas behind a few of your conceptions?
L .N.: The main thing for the artists is to be honest and not to make compromises. In Russia they put people to torture and execution – the prisons are again full of dissenters. Xenophobia and homophobia reigns. A new slave society is build. Cops beat and kill people. And here we are – holding the action Palace revolution, turning the police cars over. That was our artistic reform of the Ministry of Home Affairs
Palace Revolution, after which Oleg and Leonid were arrested

O.V.: Or, for example, on the Moscow City Day, as a protest, the Voina group came to the city’s biggest supermarket Auchan, where in the department of Light organized an execution by hanging of 3 illegal Central Asian migrant workers, 1 Jew and 1 homosexual. The lynching came as a present to the corrupted Moscow Mayor Luzhkov who pursued a policy of misanthropy and violation of human rights. We made this action as a commemoration of 5 Russian revolutionists, who were hanged in 1826. That’s why the action is called “Decembrists commemoration”. We wanted to make the Russians remember the libertarian ideals of the country’s first revolutionists.

In Memory of the Decemberists – A Present to Yuri Luzhkov, which presented the hanging of two gay men and three immigrant  workers, as a direct attack against Moscow Mayor Luzhkov, whose policies have been denounced as racist and homophobic
A.P-S: When the prominent curator Andrei Yerofeyev was accused of fomenting ethnic and religious hatred and “insulting human dignity” for organizing an exhibition and was brought to the court, the Voina art collective interrupted the case hearing by performing a new song All Cops are Bastards from the album Fuck the Police Those Motherfucking Bosses right into the courtroom. The idea was simple, the implementation – honest and uncompromising

Russian art anarchists explain themselves | Banksy's new favourites Voina speak from prison | Don't Panic online Magazine

A.P-S: Anarch-art-activism is the only lively activity in Russia. Nowadays, when even hope for democracy in Russia is ruined, painting flowers and pussy cats or making any other “pure” art, lacking a socio-political content, is to support the right-wing authorities.  The symbol of anarchy – a skull-and-bones – has to be painted right at the Russia’s parliament building.  That’s what we did Our Jolly Roger laser projection was almost 50 meters high, covering almost the whole front of the White House in Moscow.

Banksy´s  solidarity

BANKSY declared that all profits from his current print sale would be gifted to Russian art anarchist group Voina. Known for drawing an enormous cock on a bridge opposite the ex-KGB offices, and instigating a sex party in a museum (see above)

He also came to their rescue by raising bail bonds  and getting them released.

All members are out on bail  but facing sentences up to 7 years.


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