Voina Is an Anarchist Syndicate, But Not Really

11.01.11 Marina Galperina

According to the Russian police case files “acquired” by performance art interventionist crew Voina, the authorities seem to think that they are an international Anarchist syndicate, 70 internationally active members and 3000 dangerous sympathizers strong. Coppers are taking art seriously, whether they get it or not.

Voina’s active member’s criminal “artist bio:”

“Oleg Vorotnikov is an active member of the left-wing radical anarchist collective “Art group VOINA”. Its central goal is to carry out PR actions directed against the authorities, and specifically against law enforcement officials with the aim of discrediting them in the eyes of the public.

In the course of the investigation, it was established that branches of VOINA exist in all major Russian cities. The group’s sympatizers number approximately 3000, with over 70 active members in St. Petersburg alone.

VOINA members maintain contacts with anarchist groups and individuals from all around the world holding left-wing radical views on art and on the world order (Italy, Slovakia, France, USA, South Africa, Greece).”

We tuned out for a little while there mid the “imposters at the Moscow Biannual” fracas, waiting for new actions to blog about, but this new development is curious. Sure, Voina has used Banksy’s bail left-overs after their trial for overturning cop cars (“hate crime”) as consistently self-documented, self-promoted donations to various political prisoners in Russia and actual Anarchists. Here’s something A. Plucer — Voina’s de facto hype man, not a currently performing member — told us, in case you wanted to know if the group ever officially identified themselves as Anarchists:

“You can say that we’re left wing, and to be left wing in difficult in the Russian context, because Russian quasi-liberals are well-fed, well-paid clowns. Left-wing demagogy is just a way to obtain grants from the West. This doesn’t conflict with their collaboration with the corrupt government. Since the term ‘left’ is vurglarized in Russia, call us ‘Anarchists.’ They’re brave and honest kids, much closer to us.”

So, call them Anarchists even though they may not actually be Anarchists because all other labels are unbecoming. Treat them as Anarchists because the cops sure do. Just keep in mind all the Russian dissidents getting jailed and gulag-ed, sans performance art actions. That said, let’s have another action, Voina.

All Voina news here.