Storm of reactions to Lina Mendoni’s cultural “sanctions”

The minister’s decision to “suspend any implementation, cooperation, planning or discussion of events with Russian cultural organizations”, posted yesterday on the ministry’s Facebook page, caused a lot of negative comments from users who pointed to the obvious: it is one thing to influence the economic and political elite of the Russian Federation and another – Cancellation of cultural events.

More and more Russian artists, even realizing that they will have material problems, and even risk losing their jobs, are expressing public disagreement with the Putin government and openly oppose their country’s invasion of Ukraine …

More than two thousand artists, art historians, architects, producers, curators, musicians and other cultural figures have signed open letter Russian workers of culture and art against the war with Ukraine.

Literary critic Alyosha Rogozhin from Kazan, architect Olga Savelyeva from Ufa, poet Sergei Leibgrad from Samara and others are among the signatories.

Rapper Oxxxymiron in a video message on his Instagram saidthat he is against the “military special operation” in Ukraine, calling it “a disaster and a crime.” The musician announced the postponement of his concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg for an indefinite period, since he does not consider it necessary to perform when “Russian missiles fall on Ukraine.”

While the artistic directors of Russian state theater organizations or authoritative artists resign one after another, such as the director of the Meyerhold Center Elena Kovalskaya, who decided to leave her post in protest, the actor of the Mayakovsky Theater Mindaugas Karbauskis and the artistic director of the Vakhtangov Theater Rimas Tuminas, the Bolshoi Theater also canceled the premiere of the ballet The Art of Fugue, because Alexei Ratmansky became the choreographer and director of the performance. At the same time, the Union of Theater Critics of Russia did everything to convey a message of full support to their Ukrainian colleagues.

Greek Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni yesterday “instructed to suspend any implementation, cooperation, planning or discussion of events with Russian cultural organizations.” This is stated on the official Facebook page of the Ministry of Culture with the addition of a note that “the already postponed Gala Opera event, scheduled for Thursday March 3, is canceled, as well as the broadcast of the Swan Lake Show as part of The Bolshoi Ballet Live from Moscow, on Sunday, March 6, at the Athens Concert Hall / Megaron – The Athens Concert Hall.

Result. A flurry of negative comments about this statement, which by no means could be called “civilized”: condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, stand up for international law and legitimacy, declare economic or trade sanctions – take more and more measures against culture, excluding organizations and individuals , some of whom, as mentioned above, incur much higher personal costs for the decision to go public with their resistance than Ms. Mendoni from her ministry office.

Here are some comments from Greek residents under the post of the Ministry of Culture:

Are we in a hurry somewhere? Sanctions aimed at putting pressure on the country’s leadership and the economic elite are one thing, and quite another is the cancellation of cultural events that console all people. Shame and shame!!! When will we burn Dostoevsky/Chekhov/Tolstoy, etc.? Do not confuse governments with peoples and the cultures of other peoples with the actions of governments. There are universities exclusively for Russian history and language, that is, what will you do, close them? Respect the Russian speakers who live here. Russian cultural institutions are not to blame for the military conflicts resolved by their government. This decision reaches the limits of fascism and even anti-Russian propaganda. Zero culture at the Ministry of Culture. Ban both language and references to Russia, and continue down the path of propaganda like pawns. Really! I propose to ban the performance of music by Russian composers, or, even better, to ban works that have Russian themes. What are you waiting for; I have several books by Tolstoy, Gorky and Dostoevsky, do I have time to bury them before they are ordered to burn them? Well, for the Communist Manifesto – I don’t discuss it, I’ll swallow it, page by page. This is not a game with your European democracy. You are not the Ministry of Culture. You are the Ministry of Stupidity and Barbarism. Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Pushkin are punished for your obsession and slavery. We knew that she was the worst minister of culture since the creation of the Greek state. So, burn the books of Russian classics, ban the music of great Russian composers, bury Mayakovsky’s poetry, destroy Kandinsky’s paintings, Nureyev’s choreography, copies of Tarkovsky. To react! You are dangerous, your “culture” is so “good” that you need to leave your post.

It is worth noting that today, by decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the publications were disconnected from the air. “Echo of Moscow” And TV / radio “Rain”who actively opposed the war. It is quite expected that the editorial offices of these media will be closed in the near future. Roskomnadzor started sending warnings The media that they publish “inaccurate information” about the shelling of Ukrainian cities by Russian troops and the death of civilians in Ukraine, and also call the “special operation” in their materials “an attack, an invasion, or a declaration of war.”





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