Tag Archives: Petersburg

European University: A Battle Won (A Letter from Artemy Magun)

Dear Colleagues,

As you might have heard, the European University was reopened last Friday! I want to thank you all, on my own behalf (the rector’s general thanks are at www.eu.spb.ru), for your support: many of you have signed letters for us and took other important, helpful steps. This small victory was the cumulative result of many channels of 
influence: hundreds of letters and thousands of signatures; street 
actions of students and teachers (including a regular “Street 
University” that we plan to continue on a new, extended basis); and elite negotiations. A very important step was an open letter from a group of Russian academicians published in the national newspaper Kommersant. Finally, 
one morning Saint Petersburg mayor Matvienko called the rector on the phone and told him that, to her knowledge, the firemen had already withdrawn their claims. And, sure enough, within two days a court held a hearing that decided the case in favor of the university, in less than 
three minutes. As a colleague of mine joked: “Long live the Russian Court, the most dependent court in the world!” The same day, an opposition politician arrested and imprisoned three weeks ago on the fake pretext 
of beating up three policemen was set free.
Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

For Worker Power!

On February 28, members of the Chto Delat e-mail platform received the following message from Comrade X, the editor of the broadsheet For Worker Power:

The printing plant refused to run off this issue of our newspaper because:

“There is campaign material in it. We need payment made in the form of a bank transfer from the campaign fund of one of the presidential candidates.”

(I wonder: which of the candidates would finance the publication of a newspaper calling on people not to vote in the elections?)

“Twenty minutes after you start distributing the newspaper, they’ll come and shut down the plant.”

“They come nearly every day to sort through the scrap bin to find out what we’re printing.”

It smacks of self-censorship.

By the way, does anyone have access to an underground press in such cases?

We printed the issue on a risograph.

On March 4, Comrade X sent us a follow-up message:

Yesterday morning I was at the printing plant. In the morning, they told me they’d be able to run off the newspaper (I wanted to distribute it at the Dissenters March), but then they called back in the evening and said I could pick up it only today. I don’t know whether this was connected to the Dissenters March or not, but they probably know about everything that’s going on. (The newspaper New Petersburg newspaper was printed at this plant, and its editor-in-chief was arrested right there.)

To express solidarity with our comrades at For Worker Power, we are pleased to present readers with a full English-language version of the trouble-beset issue of the newspaper. You can download it as a .pdf file here:

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Firehose Isn’t a Band from San Pedro. It’s an Instrument for Strangling Academic Freedom in Russia

Better stay away from those / That carry around a firehose.

—Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

On 29 February 2007, students of the still-closed European University in Saint Petersburg gathered at the monument to Russian renaissance man Mikhail Lomonosov to lay a memorial firehose and say farewell to their dear alma mater. They were joined by Chto Delat platformistas Ada, Pasha, Foma, Artyom, and Dima V., some of whom teach and study at the university. For all those on hand, however, the university had been a bright haven amidst a black storm of reaction.

 

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ousting the Ideological Enemy (More on the Closing of EUSP)

Ousting the Ideological Enemy
By Yelena Biberman
Russia Profile

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BASTA! Special Issue: RASH, “We Have to Take People to the Next Level”

This is the fifth in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

* * * * *

At first I was in one of the communist parties. There, it was all “Jawohl, mein Fuehrer!” They did everything they did because that’s what Lenin wrote. It was round then that I first read Kropotkin’s and Bakunin’s books about anarchy. That is why I left the party and became an anarchist.

The RASH movement [Red and Anarchist Skinheads] emerged here in 2003-2004. I was the first RASH. Nearly all of us were anarcho-punks who became anarcho-skinheads. We take part in demos. We publish pamphlets, broadsides, and a newspaper [Frontline, available for download at www.redskins.ru]. I am also involved in the skinhead and punk subcultures, so I organize concerts and do propaganda work within these groups. If folks react, we work with them. We try and develop them physically; we conduct training classes in martial arts and self-defense. When you go to an antifa concert there’s a risk you’ll be attacked by Nazis. If you’re not prepared to defend yourself, the attack will probably end badly for you.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BASTA! Special Issue: Mañana Mejor, “A View of a Construction Site”

This is the third in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

* * * * *
I sit typing this text on my notebook. Out the window I see a sixteen-storey building under construction. The guys who work there from morning till night have never in their lives seen the Internet. They have come to this city from godforsaken villages—in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzia, and Russia itself—to earn money. Most of the guys don’t leave the construction site. To avoid taxes, their employer hasn’t given them their papers. In their free time, all that they can do is sit in the trailer and watch TV programs in a language—Russian—that most of them, especially the younger ones, understand poorly. Although it is cramped in the trailer, it is warm. A shower isn’t provided, so after a hard day’s work they have to wash themselves using a bucket and a pitcher. The guys put up with these hardships, however: they are young and full of strength. And hope?

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BASTA! Special Issue: Foma, “Who Makes the Nazis?”

This is the second in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

_____

In the centerfold of this newspaper you will find a map of catastrophe and terror. Buildings razed or made to collapse in the name of progress; parks and squares surrendered to “developers”; human beings maimed or destroyed in the attempt to purify one of the capitals of “Russian civilization.” Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under anti-racism, anti-fascism, our newspapers, racism, nationalism, fascism, Russian society

Artemy Magun on Dangerous Trends in Russian Education

Artemy Magun, a professor at The European University in Saint Petersburg and a member of Chto Delat, discusses the prospects for a widening of the repressions against non-state, “westernizing” institutions of higher learning in Russian and what this would mean for the country’s future. (In Russian)

Video by Ilya Utekhin

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Letter of Support for European University in St Petersburg

LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY IN ST PETERSBURG

Dear colleagues. By now many of you will have heard about the situation at the European University in St Petersburg (EUSPb). The university has been suddenly closed by the Russian authorities due to a reputed “violation of fire codes”. The classes have been suspended indefinitely and the rooms have been sealed by fire marshals. The University faculty and students, whom many of you know as colleagues and friends, have appealed to us, the international academic community, to write collective letters to support the university and to urge the authorities to reopen it. There have been many speculations as to the real reasons for the closure of this university, known for its high level of scholarship and independent social and political analysis. You can read about these various theories and explanations on the web sites provided above. However, colleagues at EUSPb have asked us “not to politicize” the situation, in order to avoid creating more problems.

Right now time is an issue — this is the middle of the semester at EUSPB, as elsewhere — and we must act quickly.

We have written a petition, and invite all of you who agree with its content to sign it. The text of the petition is provided below. We plan to collect as many signatures as we can in a speedy fashion and send this petition to administrative and educational institutions in Russia.

Alexei Yurchak, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Michele Rivkin-Fish, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

European University in Petersburg Closed

Last week, the European University in Saint Petersburg was shut down, ostensibly for violating fire codes. Chto Delat member and Petersburg-based philosopher Artemy Magun explains in an open letter posted to platform chtodelat.

Dear friends,

Many of you have been asking me of what’s going on with the European University at Saint-Petersburg.

I have decided to write to all of you in English, and explain the present situation.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized