Racist Russian Nationalists Accuse Artist of Racial Hatred

06.22.10 Marina Galperina


A Russian ultra-nationalist group often cited for inciting racial hatred – against Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code – is trying to have the code overturned. And so, they filed the same complaint against Moscow artist Lena Hades for supposedly inciting hatred against Russians with her artwork (which she isn’t). A court ruling may overturn the article.

The ultra-nationalists have long been looking for a way to get rid of the law. They accused Lena Hades of being a Rusophobe and organizing some “group to violate human rights,” which the artist has never heard of, so she can be brought to court and the law would be overturned.

Unlike the political groups, the artist isn’t racist. One of the works has the Russian emblem of a double-headed eagle chugging vodka, chucking Sputnik and waving an antisemitic banner. The other work has a jester from Slavic folklore welcoming you to Russia between the signs: “Go fuck yourself, fucking pederast jerks!” and “Oh Christ in Heaven, Holy Son, forgive us sinners.” Both works humorously address the duality of the Russian soul, its hateful hypocrisy and how “only a Russian can pray and curse simultaneously.”

The artist posted the above works on her LiveJournal with the note: “I need a laywer, quick. Such is the sad state of Russian beaurocracy.” She could face three years in prison.

Using the work as a pretext for a campaign against the code, the Russian ultra-nationalists are fighting for free speech so their political campaign against immigration can be as free with racial insults as they want.

Ah, the duality of the Russian soul?

Curator Yury Samodurov and a contemporary art gallery department head Andrei Yerofeyev are currently on trial under the code for organizing a show harshly criticizing the Russian Orthodox Church. They are facing five years in prison if convicted.