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Russia: Theatre director says culture ministry vets new plays

26 January 2016

A prominent Russian director has said theatres are required to approve new plays with the culture ministry, raising concerns of a return to censorship in a more conservative cultural climate. Valery Fokin, the award-winning artistic director of St Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky theatre, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station classic plays were …

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Russia: Political performance artist arrested

1 December 2015

Pyotr Pavlensky, a 32-year-old performance artist from Saint Petersburg, was arrested in Moscow on 9 November 2015 after dousing the doors of the FSB, the Russian security agency, with gasoline and setting it ablaze as part of a political art performance he titled ‘Menace’. Later the same day, a Moscow court …

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Russia: Art gallery owner evicted

12 November 2015

Marat Guelman was handed an eviction notice to clear out of his rented exhibition space in Moscow’s Winzavod art centre by 5 November 2015. He was served the notice on 20 October 2015, just two days after he hosted an auction to help 12 people who were imprisoned for participating …

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Russia: Exhibition in St. Petersburg censored and closed

14 October 2015

A Belgian and a German artist have had an exhibition of their graphic novel shuttered in St. Petersburg’s Nabokov Museum, according to The Moscow Times. The artists, Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer, were displaying their work as part of an international comic, graphic novel and illustration festival called Boomfest, which …

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Russia: Music portal banned

2 September 2015

The Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor has banned online music portal Last.fm for offering the song ‘Kill a cop’ (‘Ubey menta’) by the Russian alternative rock band Psychea, according to the Calvert Journal. The chorus of the song reads: “Beat me, trample me, cut me to pieces — I’ve gone completely …

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Russia: Art exhibition attacked and vandalised

1 September 2015

On 26 August 2015, two people, a man and a woman, vandalised an art exhibition in Manège, an art exhibition hall in Manezhny Dvor in Moscow which has a history of controversy. This is Moscow Manège where the USSR Communist Party Secretary General Nikita Khruschov back in 1962 lambasted artists …

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Russia: Film director sentenced 20 years in prison

28 August 2015

A Russian court has sentenced the acclaimed Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov to 20 years in a maximum-security prison on multiple terrorism charges. The 39-year-old director denied all charges against him, saying they were politically motivated, and told the court on 19 August 2015 that a “trial by occupiers cannot …

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Russia: Musicians protest against illegal police detentions

10 July 2015

“Police is attacking artists, taking them to police stations, confiscating their instruments, giving them court summons, and the courts then appoint huge fines based on various articles, depending on their imagination,” wrote Oleg Mokryakov, a leader of one of the music collectives playing on Arbat street, on his Facebook page. …

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Russia: Pussy Riot appeals to European court

27 May 2015

According to Moscow Times on 25 May 2015, two members of the female protest group Pussy Riot have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after Russian police failed to prosecute a group of men who attacked them with a whip and pepper spray in front of witnesses in …

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Russia: Cultural freedom under threat

11 May 2015

In this article Lena Jonson, Head of the Russia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm and author of the book ‘Art and protest in Putin’s Russia’, which was published in March 2015, describes that although censorship was forbidden by the Russian Constitution of 1993, since 2012 …

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