Russian Arts and Culture Have Become Casualties of the Ukrainian InvasionA number of institutions have suspended all involvement with Russian artists and organizations.
It’s been roughly a week since Russia invaded Ukraine and the implications of the conflict have been felt across the world. NATO has activated its Response Force for the first time in history and strict economic sanctions have been placed on Russia by the West and its allies. Meanwhile, SWIFT expelled key Russian banks from the global network and a number of artists and institutions have canceled scheduled events featuring Russian talent.
Notably, Russia’s cultural diplomacy has taken a major hit. FIFA and UEFA have suspended both the national team and Russian clubs from all competitions while Chelsea F.C. owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich announced plans to sell the London club. The U.K. has since distanced itself from Russian ballet and Russia has been removed from representation at the upcoming Venice Biennale, along with many other retributive actions.
It’s important to note that there are many Russian citizens and artists who have come out in support of Ukraine, including 404.zero, along with a number of protestors in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, who are being arrested and thrown into buses by police forces who are looking to quell the disorder.
Writer and curator Raimundas Malašauskas, who was preparing Russia’s Pavillion at the Venice Biennale, spoke out in a statement: “I explicitly oppose the current assault and subjugation commanded by Russia. I also believe that people from Russia should not be bullied or cast away solely due to their country’s oppressive policies and actions.”
He added: “I want to avoid flat-falling divisions, and instead advocate for multi-leveled forms of solidarity where there are international forums for art and artists from Russia to express the freedom that they can’t express at home.”
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