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  2. "We have the right to die." In Komi, LGBT activists held a performance in support of political undesirables

"We have the right to die." In Komi, LGBT activists held a performance in support of political undesirables

Dmitry Stepanovsky
Screenshot from the video

On October 3, activists staged a performance in the center of Syktyvkar to support people who were being persecuted and killed by the state. Several people lay down on the asphalt, and their silhouettes were outlined in chalk. The video from the rally was posted in community "queerrrriot | syktyvkar" on vk.com.

The queerrrriot Syktyvkar initiative group of LGBT+ and their supporters held the rally in Stefanovskaya Square, near which the Administration of the Head of the Komi Republic and the building of the State Council of the republic are located. Several people walked around the square with their hands behind their backs and then lay down on the asphalt, and their silhouettes were outlined in white chalk.

The performance lasted about 10 minutes. The phrase "We have the right to die" is repeated behind the scenes throughout the video which ends with the title "The only right." In the caption of the video, the organizers of the performance mentioned murdered politician Boris Nemtsov, historian Yury Dmitriev who was given a harsher sentence that week, arrested Russian mathematician Azat Miftakhov, and participants of the "Moscow case" and the Set’* case. The organizers of the performance believe that all of them are undesirables who are killed by the state in various ways.

“We are aware of Irina Slavina who died yesterday [the editor-in-chief of Koza.press, a media outlet in Nizhny Novgorod, committed suicide after searches and seizures], and there is no doubt that the state forced her to do that. Yes, we can talk about searches and seizures, the FSB, anything else – anyway, it is inextricably bound up with the state,” Nina Popugaeva, a member of the queerrrriot initiative group, comments on the performance. “I do not understand to what extent someone loses everything to decide on this. As far as I can see, she had no other choice. And it's absolutely creepy.”


The queerrrriot community has already held several performances dedicated to the current agenda in Syktyvkar. In late June, on the eve of voting on amendments to the Constitution, activists held a rally where a man in the Putin mask soiled the country's main document. And in mid-September, after the election of the Head of the Komi Republic, activist Nina Popugaeva cut snowflakes on the porch of the Republican Election Commission – this was how she demonstrated an alternative way of destroying "unwanted" ballot cards with votes for representatives of the opposition.

* The Set’ (‘Network’) community is included in the list of terrorist organizations banned in Russia.

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