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Art and Politics in Russia Today

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




The Arkadia International Bookshop in Helsinki will host a discussion on art and politics in today’s Russia with journalist Oksana Chelysheva and street artist Alexandra Kachko on Monday 26 March 2012 at 6pm. Oksana and Alexandra will discuss Alexandra’s art and other topics pertaining to Russia today: The imprisonment of the members of the feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, the dismantling and criminal prosecution of the organisers of the Be Cautious: Religion! and Forbidden Art exhibitions, the Voina art group and the reasons they are on international wanted lists and currently in hiding. The discussion will be in English and Russian. Entrance is free and green tea will be served. A donation of EUR 2 or more to fund the event would be most welcome.


Street artist Alexandra Kachko adds oppositional politics and feminism to walls and buildings around Saint Petersburg. Alexandra is involved in art, but not of the usual kind. Her political artworks are seen not in galleries, but on the walls of houses of Saint Petersburg. “Two years ago I was just a young architect. I was not involved into politics. But seeing people being detained during peaceful marches made me think of how to react. Being an artist, I created my alter ago, an image of a young girl calling on the people to join the protest and not to be afraid.”


Oksana Chelysheva is a journalist and human rights activist. She coordinates the Pussy Riot support campaign in Finland and has written an article on Alexandra Kachko for the Finnish version of Novaya Gazeta. Oksana is a member of the board of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, a member of the Steering Committee of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, and Deputy Executive Director of the Helsinki-based Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, which was banned in Russia under the country’s draconious “anti-extremism” legislation.




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