Cultural Forms of Political Protest in Russia
Alongside the Arab Spring, the 'Occupy' anti-capitalist movements in the West, and the events on the Maidan in Kiev, Russia has had its own protest movements, notably the political protests of 2011–12. As elsewhere in the world, these protests had unlikely origins, in Russia’s case spearheaded by the 'creative class'. This book examines the protest movements in Russia. It discusses the artistic traditions from which the movements arose; explores the media, including the internet, film, novels, and fashion, through which the protesters have expressed themselves; and considers the outcome of the movements, including the new forms of nationalism, intellectualism, and feminism put forward. Overall, the book shows how the Russian protest movements have suggested new directions for Russian – and global – politics.
Jonathan Brooks Platt’s chapter compares the strategies of the Voina (War) group and Petr Pavlensky at the end of the Russian actionist tradition in Russian contemporary art. If Voina preserves the movement’s elusive irony and the pursuit of “festive indistinction” with power, Pavlensky asserts the uncompromising position of art’s own law, utterly opposed to the law of the state.