Voina to ANIMAL: “It’s a Way of Life”

03.07.11 Marina Galperina

Despite being attacked last week, art-actvists of Voina – Leonid (right), Oleg (left), Natalia (center with Kasper) – talked to ANIMAL about jail, Banksy and recruiting. Consider their answers as part of their performance. Welcome to contemporary Samizdat: Dissent isn’t written in secret newsletters – it’s graffiti-bombed on a bridge.

Will you continue working on the “Handbook”?

Oleg Vorotnikov: We are, every day. It’s a way of life. Only occasionally do we record this with video and photographs. We live on principle, without money and without compromises.

Natalia Sokol: We never corroborate with the authorities. Even after yesterday’s beating, we didn’t go to the police to report it, because just speaking to a cop is to stain yourself with his shit.

Any plans to include Kasper the Striking Falcon in your future actions?

Natalia Sokol: Kasper has taken part in all of our actions over the past year. And he will continue, if he wants. He is our superhero and lead activist. He is the future.

How was your time on the inside?

Leonid Nikolayev: I thought that jail would be a nightmare. It turned out to be a sanatorium. There are many honest and good people on the inside.

Oleg Vorotnikov: Jail is a very beneficial experience for an artist. For for protest activists, jail is also an award from the government for our protest actions. It means that the Russian government mafia has appreciated our actions as genius, since they decided to lock us away behind bars.

How did you first hear about Banksy’s support? Reaction? Have you been in contact since your release?

Alexei Plutser-Sarno: A friend of Banksy wrote to us and told us about the British artist’s plan to help us, around midnight before the prints went on sale. I thanked him and put him in contact with Natalia Sokol, as I try to stay clear of all financial dealings.

Natalia Sokol: After that, I’ve been in constant contact with Banksy. Help arrived just in time. Banksy practically saved us all. He paid for Oleg and Lenya’s bail, and thanks to him they are no free. His money is going to the lawyers.

Can the “schizophrenia” of the Russian authoritarian bodies ever be cured?

Leonid Nikolayev: The current Russian government is radical Right, hopeless and without a future.

Alexei Plutser-Sarno: The Russian government is inhuman and insane.

What sort of people are you hoping to recruit, if you were recruiting?

Oleg Vorotnikov:  Honest, brave and passionate youth!

All ANIMAL Voina news.