«THE FROG AND THE TYRANT» May 9, 2022
This short cartoon is based on my protest action which took place on May 9 this year. I came out to protest wearing black (“Women in Black” conceptualised by the Feminist Anti-War Resistance) with crying eyes painted on the backs of my hands. I was photographed against the backdrop of the “Immortal Regiment” procession and other Victory Day festivities, covering my face with my hands, and thus symbolically rewriting and appropriating what was happening around me. I had to stand in front of the police, which for obvious reasons usually makes me quite nervous, but apparently, because the gesture looked so odd to them, they did not see me as a protester. Also, I tried to stand closer to female police officers. For me, this gesture has a double meaning—on the one hand, burying one’s face in one’s hands is a gesture of grief and terror; on the other hand, the open eyes painted on the backs of my hands served as a demand to myself not to shun away from what is happening, to keep looking, no matter how painful it might be. The soundtrack in the cartoon is a song that was played on Victory Day in Novosibirsk over and over again, much more often than other military songs. And in the end, we get it right.
Translated by Sonya Permyakova
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