A gay Russian performance artist sent a giant Pride flag flying over the Kremlin in Moscow to protest against authorities’ anti-LGBT+ policies.
Former mayor of Arkhangeksk and artist Alexander Donskoy titled his piece ‘LGBT Over Kremlin’. As he described to Novaya Gazetta, his latest work was a reaction to Russian authorities’ condemnation of Embassies displaying the Pride flag.
Donskoy’s recent piece involved sending a massive Pride flag from Manezhnaya Square towards the Kremlin with dozens of rainbow-coloured balloons. The enormous undertaking was recorded on film and posted to YouTube, showing the victorious moment of take-off.
The artist came out as gay in 2017 and has been a leading voice in protesting against Russia’s anti-LGBT+ policies. After holding the position of mayor from 2005-2008, he went on to set up his own gallery, which was recently destroyed by unknown assailants.
In February 2020, Donskoy launched his ‘Putin is Russia?’ project, calling out portrayals of the president as a superhero. Speaking with Reuters, he detailed that he wants his work to garner a reaction from the public and be provocative in order to inspire change.
Donskoy shared, “I will show that the Russian people consider sanctions against Putin like sanctions against themselves. So, I am an ambassador of peace.”
In open defiance of a hostile environment, Russian queer creatives continue to carve out a space for themselves and let their voices be heard. Through their art, numerous protests have called out the discriminatory and dangerous mindset encouraged by those in power.
As highlighted in the O-zine and the Calvert Journal, the LGBT+ community stands resilient in the face of discrimination. One artist shared, “I think Russia will follow its own path, different to other countries, which will eventually lead us to freedom of expression. In this moment, all we can do is fight the political system, which has penetrated all the institutions and tries to make us into obedient robots.”
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