(in)visible protest

Kanonersky Island is the one place in St. Petersburg without police, a thin strip of land connected to the mainland via a tunnel. The island is a place where the soil contains a whole bouquet of heavy metals, where the central aeration sewage treatment plant is located, where a motorway stretches over the heads of the few inhabitants. It is also the safest place to express your civic position.

We came there in March 2019 for two hours to publicly express everything that we wanted to say to the Russian government without getting arrested. Everyone wrote different statements which were important to them. This protest remained invisible to the public, journalists, and police and did not engender political changes. But for us it was an important event – for these two hours we did not have fear. Fear that accumulates and reproduces over many years, that is passed on from generation to generation, a fear that is with you every minute. Fear of your homeland.

Over the last decade the political situation in Russia has become entirely repressive. Physical presence at the rally has increased in value: with high probability protestors will face police brutality and get arrested. This reality illustrates the need to search for new forms of political protest.

The (in)visible protest project experiments with international protest and solidarity in digital form. Through a channel on Telegram people can send short protest statements which will appear on one of the monitors held by persons in the picture.

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