Daria Apakhonchich

International Peace Prize – 2020 in the category of “Peace Breeze” in the area of action of art is given to an artist Daria Apahonchich for her courage, love, compassion, and common sense. Daria invents and conducts performances and art actions against war and militarism in defense of repressed activists, in support of repressed activists and women who have been subjected to violence. Apohonchich protests discrimination and calls for government accountability.

She is one of the founders of the group {rodina}, a participant of the initiatives {NE MIR}, the party of the dead, co-organizer of the anti-war festival Baltic Glory and the channel "feminists explain", and the project "Fairy Tales for Girls". In 2020, Daria participated in organizing an exhibition of solidarity with the women of Belarus, an anti-militarist marathon with activists from Ukraine, Sweden, and Finland, and an online workshop on writing feminist fairy tales UN Women. He teaches Russian to his students from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran. She has been working with people from all continents: festivals, exhibitions, lessons, work; anti-militarism, feminism, ecology. On December 28, 2020, Daria Apahonchich was included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of individuals and media foreign agents. She is neither a media outlet nor an agent of anyone.

The Organizing Committee of the award expresses Daria its support due to the repressions and wishes for her strength and the restoration of justice.

Russian Version

Group {rodina}

On the photo: a zine released to celebrate the 5th anniversary of {rodina}. It was made a year ago for the exhibition “{motherland} is poor, physical and full of anti-energy”. The zine contains a text of the performance “Dictation” with illustrations of Daria Apahonchich.

See more in Russian: https://stropov.livejournal.com/81205.html

Relaxation for men

See more about Daria Apahonchich project “Relaxation for Men” on exhibition of a political photography in Helsinki:

https://therussianreader.com/2019/07/30/darya-apahonchich-relaxation-for-men/ (in Russian)

Just a very big tortury

According to a recent opinion poll of Levada Centre 10% of Russian citizens were subjected to torturing.

Party of the Dead

“Fairytale Putting. Flashmob roasting.” Lenin Square, Saint-Petersburg, 12/06/2019
Party of the Dead

Petersburg Postcards

Recently Nikolai Nikolaevich Boyarshinov has told about a letter from Dima Pchelintsev, who bitterly joked that, although he was brought to St. Petersburg, he never saw St. Petersburg itself: neither Winter Palace, nor Palace Square, nor Peter-Pavel Fortress, nor the Neva. We decided to correct this situation as best we could and make St. Petersburg postcards for Dima and for the other defendants in the Set' case, which would not only have beautiful views, but also posters in support of the guys.

Gentle OMON

we are tired of violence, of the constant escalation of aggression and the demonstration of force

we want the government to become more human, at last

we are full of old men mad with blood and fervently proud that it’s not them who is bleeding

we want to say to the authorities: get gentle, or leave

who is gentle is right – because without gentleness even the grass does not grow, and the time does not comeand to those who morrow and henceforth are going to snatch people and throw them into the prisons’ embrace, we say: enough

be gentle, you sweet little omon!

https://www.facebook.com/rodina.group/posts/1958873651017141 (in Russian)

Do Grow and Rot / +1

Daria Apahonchich is an artist, teacher of Russian as a foreign language, feminist and eco-activist. She is the co-founder of the educational YouTube channel Feminists Explain and the art group {rodina}, which describes its ideology as "anarcho-necro-eco-feminism". Darya told “+1” about the problems of terminology and the similarity of discrimination between women and animals.

https://plus-one.ru/blog/ecology/ecofeminist-interview (in Russian)

The March of the Wrath of the Mothers

The March of the Wrath of the Mothers, St. Petersburg, 10/02/2019

Demonstration for the elimination of violence against women

Demonstration for the elimination of violence against women, St. Petersburg, 10/02/2019

OMONotaurs hunting a Unicorn

OMONotaurs hunting a Unicorn, St. Petersburg, Mothers’ March, 15/08/2018

Ecofeminism: what do the struggle for equality and the love of nature have in common

An interview with Darya Apahonchich about ecofeminism

The group {rodina} has been started 5 years ago. We are engaged in social and political art, curate exhibitions and conduct performances. And we do modern art in general. Perhaps you have heard something about the "Alas-parade" (a depressing action that took place in St. Petersburg in November 2016 under the slogans "War. Unemployment. November", "Let's put up with it" - ed.). Maybe you've heard that our work "9 stages of the leader's decomposition" was sentenced to destruction in Russia and one of the members of our group was fined 160 thousand rubles. This is one of the most high-profile recent events.

I call myself an ecofeminist, because apart from the group {rodina} I am a member of the educational YouTube channel "Feminists Explain". We create educational videos for women about the feminist agenda and sometimes participate with lectures in different spaces, discussions. Ecofeminism is important to me because it brings together very different current agendas — women's, environmental-and the theme of exploitation, oppression, eco-friendly, humane and ethical consumption in general. All these are key- topics in ecofeminism. I believe that this is an important angle to review your habits and your life.

Ecology, of course, is linked to feminism. This connection is quite deep and sometimes obvious. For example, the exploitation of animals. I think this is a feminist issue, because people exploit cows, goats, and other mammals by taking their milk off, and men exploit women's bodies in the same way. Human have control over others’ bodies, justifying it by telling that it’s a tradition, that it has always been like that and that without it we will all die.

In Europe, you don’t have to explain why you are a feminist, it is something that goes without saying. But here, you have to explain all the time how come that you are a feminist and why you are an ecofeminist. Although, it seems to me, intuitively a lot of people share these ideas, see this injustice and come to it from different points of view. But they call themselves something else. It's just that there is already such a word "ecofeminism", which was formed in the 70s, why invent something else? That's why I use the word ecofeminism, and I find it very useful to learn about the experiences of other ecofeminists, their ideas, and to read and translate their texts and books.

Continue in Russian: https://heroine.ru/ekofeminizm-chto-obshhego-u-borby-za-ravnopravie-i-lyubvi-k-prirode/

Alas-parade: war, unemployment, November. 2016

November 1 was celebrated in St. Petersburg with a depressing demonstration under the slogan "War-unemployment-November". Alas-parade for alas-patriots.

Text: group "motherland"

The mood: folk.

Photo: Vadim Lurye

***

"Our group "motherland" was created on September 1, 2013," recalls Darya Apahonchich. "Things weren’t as bad as they are today, the Crimea was not "ours" yet, and we didn’t seem feel so down. However, we didn't really consider ourselves as an art group at the time, just participated in some performances from time to time. 

I remember how comrade Leonid Tsoi invited us to a bar to spend something on September 1. We came up with a party in the format of dictation. I would start reading some pompous phrases, say, "The Motherland is everything for us", then Max would join in with his text, as if interrupting me, and the visitors of the place would write and wonder who they should listen to, what really the Motherland is?..

In 2014, we had a campaign "Happy birthday, War!" We were walking along Nevsky Prospekt with a pram, in which there were cabbage heads with eyes. People hardly reacted. In here, no one recognizes war, you see? Like, there’s no any war. Alas-parade, for which we are known to everyone here in Minsk, was held under the slogan "War-Unemployment-November". So, no one paid any attention to the word "war" at all. Mostly, we were scolded for unemployment ("Go and work, mouse!" - so they addressed me, for example). 

We honestly tried to authorize our campaigns. When we were organizing the anti-war exhibition "Not Peace" in St. Petersburg, I personally was dealing with it.

The responses we got were funny: one time, that “they are roasting “Malishok” sausages”, next time, that “there is a rally against the Liberal party of Russia. In short, with these reactions it was obvious that actions wouldn’t be authorized.

Since then, I vote for not trying to authorize them at all. Anyway, it’s easier to conduct things in St. Petersburg than in Moscow, I think. However, the question of legality is still open.

Source: https://kyky.org/pain/kakovo-zhit-v-rossii-s-pozitsiey-krym-ne-nash

Happy birthday to War!

Today I want to write about the performance that took place on 01. 09. 2014.

It was called "Happy birthday to war" and we held it in the center of St. Petersburg in the genre of a solemn walk (with elements of a cuisine-art).

We did this on the 1st of September because this day is considered as the beginning of the World War II. But our performance, of course, did not mean only this war.

It was based on the comparison of human life and death with cabbage (to be found in cabbage means to be born, the cabbage itself is a fruit, an organism; chopping heads like cabbage heads is from Hegel; and, of course, we should remember Gumilev with his "Lost tram":

"Sign... blood poured the letters
Reads: "Greenery", I know, there's
Instead of cabbage and instead of rutabaga
They sell dead heads."

We bought the heads at the Sennoy market and with paper eyes, gouache, and a knife turned them into heads. We wanted to make them look like they were cut off, but it turned out to be scary without it. Our heads were put in a pram decorated with ribbons, and we went for a walk with it.

We walked via Nevsky, to Dvortsovaya, then to Vasilyevsky Island, to Lenya Tsoyu, because on this day (September 1) we also celebrated the birthday of {motherland}. People peeked into our pram, some startled away, some smiled, some took pictures of us on their phones.

We have Dima Pryakhin with us, he was taken pictures and watching the reaction of passers-by, and then he told everything to us, because somehow a field of silence was formed around us, people watched in silence, and only then, behind our backs, they made some comments.For me, this performance was about the value of human life, about the shifted axis of attitude to war, about our past and present. 

Source in Russian: https://apakhonchich.livejournal.com/6595.html

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OK, I’ll make a pun, for the last time, it’s getting boring.

This message (material) was created and (or) distributed by a foreign mass media performing the functions of a foreign agent, and (or) a Russian legal entity performing the functions of a foreign agent.

I've been a foreign agent for three days now, but I still haven't figured out of which country. I recollected the whole last year: here, we are doing an exhibition of solidarity with protesting women in Belarus; here, we are doing an anti-military marathon with activists from Ukraine, Sweden, Finland; here, we are having online Russian lessons with my students from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran; here, a French magazine asks me if they may use our photo; here, I am participating in an online workshop on writing feminist fairy tales UN Women. Whole this year via online, and many, many previous years - via online and offline - I have been working with people from all continents (although, I think there wasn’t anyone from Antarctica yet): festivals, exhibitions, lessons, work; anti-militarism, feminism, ecology. My English is far from perfect, and my French is terrible, but I am studying for all my life. (now it’s going to be a sentimental passage, sorry.)

I was going to school in Siberia, and I studied languages poorly, because I didn’t believe that I would ever go anywhere at all, all this was completely unreal, I first crossed the border of Russia at the age of 27, I began to speak English tolerably at 30, when I started teaching students from Africa.

In short, I don’t understand an agent of what I am. Of what country? Or Countries?

I’m a rather strange agent. But today, on January 1st, all this absurd foreign-agency situation made me remember my Siberian childhood, and a new reality, where you can make friends, study, and make your art through borders.

It’s cool to be an every-country agent, I like it!