“When someone whines about what they can possibly do if it’s really true that voting won’t fix everything, hand them this book. When someone proposes violence as the only serious option available, hand them this book.”David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org & OpEd News
Voina (“war”) is a Russian performance art collective that uses guerrilla street theater as a vehicle for political protest. The group has projected a skull and crossbones onto the national government building, painted a 65-meter erect penis on a drawbridge facing the state security agency’s headquarters, overturned police cars, and thrown chickens at McDonald’s workers to “alleviate their boredom.” One performance, staged a few days before Dmitry Medvedev was elected president, consisted of six couples having sex in Moscow’s state biological museum under a banner that read “Fuck for the heir, Little Bear,” a play on Medvedev’s surname, which means “bear” in Russian. In 2010, the group’s co-founders, Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolayev, were arrested for an anti-corruption performance that involved overturning seven police cars and were held for three months before being charged with a crime. At the time of this writing, they are charged with inciting hatred against a social group — the police — and face up to seven years in prison.