Ultimate in stupidity


Russian performing artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, protesting.

Russian performing artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, protesting.

A protester is a person who publicly demonstrates opposition to something.

We have seen protesters or demonstrators all over the world doing what they think is best to attract public attention and gain support over what they believe is proper, judicious and noble.

Protests come in different forms: from a simple hunger strike to the more spirited display of chants, slogans and getup depicting images of either country or personalities whose practices or actions are abhorrent to the demonstrators.

Mostly the protests are rational, sensible and with a strong message manifested.

But, what I am sharing with you is a protest conducted by one person, an artist at that, which I consider the ultimate in stupidity.

I am referring at 29-year-old Russian performance artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, who, in protesting against ‘apathy, political indifference and fatalism of Russian society’, shocked the crowed in Moscow’s Red Square when he stripped naked and nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones outside Lenin’s Mausoleum, on the day Russia marked its Police Day national holiday.


“The performance can be seen as a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society,” Pavlensky said in a statement. “As the government turns the country into one big prison, stealing from the people and using the money to grow and enrich the police apparatus and other repressive structures, society is allowing this, and forgetting its numerical advantage, is bringing the triumph of the police state closer by its inaction.”

Am sure many sympathized with Pavlensky is championing for, but certainly not at the kind of ‘art’ he showed people at the Square.

Pavlensky is known for his self-inflicting art, including sewing his lips together to protest against the jail sentences given to members of Pussy Riot and wrapping himself in barbed wire outside a Russian government building, which he said symbolized “the existence of a person inside a repressive legal system”.

He was taken to hospital an hour later and given basic treatment for his injuries but declined to be admitted. He was later taken to a police station.

Pavlensky is due to appear before a district court in Moscow over the stupid stunt and could be jailed for up to 15 days.


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