Feminist artist and activist from Russia Yulia Tsvetkova is about to go to jail for 6 years for picturing the female body. The threat is VERY REAL!
In Russia, potential danger and violence go hand in hand with developing queer culture. Yulia Tsvetkova is a 27-year-old artist from the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur (deep, deep Russia) who has been formally charged with unlawfully making and posting pornographic content online. She was charged because:
∙ She is the admin of a pretty large feminist and body-positive online community called “The Vagina Monologues.”
∙ She made a series of body-positive drawings called “A Woman Is Not a Doll” (see below) that was considered illegal pornography.
Yulia was arrested in November 2019 and had to stay under house arrest until March 2020. She and her family were questioned more than 30 times. Moreover, while under house arrest, Yulia had no access to the medical care she needed.
Feminist activists from Russia receiving so much hate is not something very surprising. Yulia became the “target” of St. Petersburg-based homophobic activist Timur Bulatov, who has past criminal records; it is assumed he was probably the one who complained to the law enforcement agencies and basically started the case. Bulatov did not stop there, he also published the home address of Yulia and her mom, and still keeps on calling his supporters to kill them both with impunity.
According to the Coalition to Free the Kremlin’s Political Prisoners, “art materials in Tsvetkova’s case cannot be recognized as pornographic. From [their] point of view and based on the expertise of various experts who have examined the works, these materials are no more pornography than images of genitals in a basic anatomy textbook.” Yulia’s case will be tried in early July 2020. There is an urgent need to publicize her case. We stand along many protesters and believe that all charges against Yulia Tsvetkova should be dropped and her case dismissed immediately!
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Text: Polina Korneeva
Artwork: Yulia Tsvetkova
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