On the 2 of November 2009, the Ukrainian blogger and artist Alexandr Volodarsky made a political-artistic performance protesting against the increase of censorship imposed by the National Committee for the Social Morality Defense. For this the artist was threatened with the criminal prosecution accused of ‘hooliganism’ which, according to Ukrainian laws, might lead to four years of imprisonment.
Such a reaction of the state is very symptomatic not only as a concrete example of corruption and violence. To qualify this act as hooliganism is to deprive it of any meaning. To reduce it to the physical action is to neutralize a dangerous metaphor. Interpretation is too risky for those who hold power. For that reason the Volodarsky’s case is not only a case of legal corruption and unjustified criminal prosecution, although this is also important. Volodarsky’s case has much broader implications: it is a struggle for the meaning, the conflict of interpretation, which touches the ill nerve of Ukrainian society.
March 16th Volodarsky lost the trial at court of appeal, so now he is really endangered to get 4 years in prison.
Please show your solidarity with Alex, send protest notes, write about the case or just tell it other people.