Daily Archives: June 8, 2009

Our Appeal: Free Artem Loskutov!

Tomorrow, June 9, 2009, is a international day of solidarity actions in defense of Artem Loskutov, the young Novosibirsk artist arrested on May 15 by officers of the Center for Extremism Prevention. Read our appeal, below, to find out what you can do to join our campaign.

Free Artem Loskutov!

An Appeal from Chto Delat Platform

x_ad170f1bOn May 15, 2009, the contemporary artist and university student Artem Loskutov (pronounced ahr-TYOHM LOHS-koo-tuhf) was arrested in Novisibirsk and charged with possession of a narcotic substance (marijuana) by the local branch of the Interior Ministry’s notorious Center for Extremism Prevention (Center “E”). Loskutov and his supporters claim that the police planted the marijuana in his bag in order to incriminate him. As one of the inspirations behind the annual “Monstration”—a flash-mob street party in which young people march with absurdist, Situationist slogans—Loskutov had long been an object of the Center’s attentions. At a pre-trial custody hearing on May 20, it was revealed that the Center had been tapping the phones of Loskutov and his friends for the past six months. In the weeks before this year’s Monstration and on May Day itself, Loskutov was summoned to the Center for “discussions”; his parents were also called and told that their son was a member of a dangerous sect. The circumstances of the case and the manner in which he was arrested thus point to a campaign of intimidation directed both at Loskutov and his fellow free-thinking “monstrators” in Novosibirsk. Continue reading

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Filed under activism, contemporary art, open letters, manifestos, appeals, political repression, protests, Russian society

Global Post: Political Expression in Russia and the Loskutov Case

Global Post
June 2, 2009
Miriam Elder
Political expression in Russia: Artyom Loskutov, an organizer of “art happenings,” has been arrested

MOSCOW — On a wintry day in mid-March Artyom Loskutov gathered with three fellow artists in the quiet halls of a Moscow movie theater to discuss an upcoming art event in his hometown of Novosibirsk.

The artists always make sure to meet in public places. They shut off their cell phones and refused to give a reporter their phone numbers for fear of being tracked.

“It’s easier to get lost in Moscow than in Novosibirsk. The authorities are closer, so they’re actually farther away,” Loskutov said.

Today, Loskutov, a soft-spoken 20-something with long black dreadlocks, is sitting in a Novosibirsk holding cell, awaiting a trial that his colleagues insist is politically motivated. Continue reading

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Filed under activism, contemporary art, political repression, Russian society