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  2. Performance artist from Penza creates a photo project about pressure on independent media

Performance artist from Penza creates a photo project about pressure on independent media

Photo provided by Vladimir Kuznetsov
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Performance artist Vladimir Kuznetsov from Penza has created a photo project to show that independent media are being shut down and are not allowed to tell the truth. The photo shows a man sitting blindfolded and with his mouth sewn shut at a laptop and holding a pocket watch. Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications) had blocked the websites of many independent editorial offices for distributing "fakes" about the military special operation in Ukraine; some media outlets have been closed for good. Kuznetsov told 7x7 about the photo project.

Vladimir Kuznetsov told 7x7 that art should have not been silent in a world where the authorities prohibited free media. In his idea, the character in the photo is caught between the permitted opinions — two televisions in the background. His hands are tied, his mouth is sewn shut, and he is wearing a blindfold. The watch in his hand symbolizes judgment day.

"We do not see what time it is now, how much time is left before this ‘wonderful future’ comes, because we are blindfolded. Sometimes it is hard to admit that it will not get better as time passes, but we cling to it, to Time, as the last remaining hope," the performance artist explained another idea of the watch in the photo.


Kuznetsov said that he used to be a journalist himself, therefore he felt solidarity primarily with independent correspondents. In addition, the resident of Penza has launched a pacifist performance called NET (‘no’). As part of the campaign, he photographed three young women painted the colors of the Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian flags. They symbolize three fraternal states.

Roskomnadzor has blocked the websites of 7x7, Meduza*, Mediazona*, Radio Liberty*, Voice of America*, Republic*, Agents.media, Snob, Sobesednik (‘interlocutor’), Activatica, BBC Russian Service, etc. for "fakes" about the military special operation in Ukraine. The Echo of Moscow Radio Station and TV Rain* have stopped broadcasting at Roskomnadzor’s request.

On March 4, Vladimir Putin signed two bills at once — amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses. In the first case, one will be liable for the defamation of the military, distribution of fakes and calls for sanctions against Russia - a maximum of 15 years in prison. The new article on an administrative offense repeats the criminal one on the armed forces (Article 20.3.3).


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