13 Dec Fragile passionate personal political responsibility: an exhibition of autobiographical work-in-progress comics by Anya Gladysheva and Gleb Pushev
Opening of the exhibition by Anya Gladysheva and Gleb Pushev
Thursdsy, December 15, 7 p.m.
KROKODIL’s Center (Karađorđeva 43, entrance from the Male stepenice street)
On Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m. an exhibition of comics by Anya Gladysheva and Gleb Pushev will be opened in the KROKODIL’s Center, which will feature works created after February 24, 2022, when Russia’s aggression against Ukraine began. Comics and drawings that will be exhibited reflect on news agendas, historical processes, and personal events. On this occasion, a renewed mural of Lesya Ukrainka (Ukrainian poet, translator, playwright, feminist and activist), a work done by Anya and Gleb, will also be presented. The mural is located on the Male stepenice street, near the KROKODIL’s Center, and its creation was initiated in October this year by the Association KROKODIL, only for the mural to be destroyed not long after it was finished.
A talk with the artists moderated by Aleksandar Zograf will open the exhibition. Consecutive translation is provided during the talk.
When the President of the Russian Federation unleashed a big war against Ukraine, users of Russian social networks for some time used the hashtag #Iamnotsilent as a marker that they are aware and recognize the criminal potential of silence and express their civil position by refusing it. We consider it is important not to remain silent not only about the fact that we oppose the Putin regime and take the Ukrainian side in this war, but also about our personal external and internal events.
There is a point of view that only Putin is to blame for the current war, there is a point of view that all Russians are to blame. But one person is not capable of bringing chaos around the world. Every Russian, as well as a citizen of any country, by his silence / non-silence, participation / non-participation, reflection and its absence, contributes to the common bright or dark cause.
The format of the presented works – work-in-progress comics – is our contribution to the criticism of capitalism, highlighting the problem of the precarious working conditions of many artists, who often do not have the opportunity to work because of insufficient time and lack of material security. In addition, these are works created in wartime: global trouble puts us in a situation when it is strange to think a lot about personal comfort.
At the same time, the private life of each person reflects the existing global processes. A critical number of problems have accumulated not only in Russia, but also in the global world – social inequality, atomization, oppression of women, minorities and numerous groups of invisible layers of society – migrants, residents of occupied territories, political prisoners, precarious artists – and this is just the tip of a huge iceberg. For us, the expression of our civic and artistic position is not only to align with progressive democratic and anti-war formulations, but also to talk about the problems, fears, thoughts and hopes of a particular person who finds himself in emigration, faces with the need to reconsider his attitude to the historical past, to look for new answers to old questions, to formulate personal position on the Russian-Ukrainian issue.
Anya Gladysheva (Аня Гладышева) was born in Leningrad, Russia in 1986. Defended master’s thesis in Russian literature. From 2013 to 2020 traveled to Odessa, Ukraine, where she lived for a long time, participated in the cultural life of the city, collected material for a book about the Ukrainian film director Kira Muratova. Worked as a literary editor, teacher, organized and held events in the field of cinema, literature and liberal arts. Started drawing in 2019 and participated in several art exhibitions in St. Petersburg. In March 2022 emigrated to Belgrade, Serbia due to disagreement with the actions of the President of the Russian Federation in relation to Ukraine. Currently live and work in Belgrade, engaged in anti-war activism. In August 2022 held an anti-war exhibition “8 years and 160+ days” in Belgrade.
Gleb Pushev, artist from St. Petersburg, 24 years old. Lived in Odessa for 4 months in 2018 and 10 months in 2019-2020. Loves the city and Ukraine very much. In March 2, 2022 moved to Serbia because he and his family are deeply repulsed by Vladimir Putin’s regime, Great Russian chauvinism, and the shameful war with Ukraine, which is still going on. I don’t want to be silent, I don’t want to go to jail, I don’t want to be sent to war, that’s why I create anti-war and anti-Putin art in the beautiful city of Belgrade.
The event and the exhibition are realized within the Spaces of Freedom project, which is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).