The trial against Yulia Tsvetkova was held behind closed doors mid of July. The 29 years old feminist and LGBT activist was facing a maximum of six years in prison and has been acquitted of controversial “pornography” charges (see ACAR’s previous posts 1, 2, 3). Tsvetkova’s case drew international attention after she was placed under house arrest in 2019 . Amnesty International declared her a prisoner of conscience and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam acquired her works. In June, Tsvetkova was added to the Russian justice ministry’s list of “foreign agents.”
“With regard to the future of the drawings, the court has clearly expressed its findings that the original position and context in which these drawings were included do not allow them to be considered pornographic,” he said. This is important not only for Yulia, but also for the entire artistic, museum, and academic community, which, in the event of a guilty verdict (and given the possibility of an appeal, this risk still remains) may be forced to put underwear on ancient sculptures.” (Aleksandr Pikhovkin, Yulia Tsvetkova’s lawyer)
The independent Alfa Theatre in Tel Aviv/Israel is under pressure since many years (See ACAR post 2019). As a small fringe theatre with professional Jewish and Arab actors, working in both languages the Alfa has many times been threatened by governmental authorities as supporter of terrorists. The Ministry of Culture has now decided to stop any financial support. The theater has already filed a lawsuit against the ministry in 2019 and managed to get the cancellation of the annual subsidy reversed. Since then, Alfa continues to fight against closure and starts now another Court appeal. Avraham Oz, director of the theatre asks for donations for the Court appeals expenses.
Ahead of schedule, on March 28, the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow granted the petition of Kirill Serebrennikov to cancel the probation and early removal of the conviction. The petition was sent by Serebrennikov’s lawyers, Dmitry Kharitonov and Elena Oreshnikova, on the grounds that half of the probation period prescribed for their ward expired on December 26, 2021, and the punishment in the form of paying a fine of 800,000 rubles was executed voluntarily and in full , as well as payment of compensation for damage to the Ministry of Culture in the amount of 128,974,690 rubles.
Theater directors and organizations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have written a joint letter expressing solidarity with Gluchowski and protesting against his planned removal as artistic and managing director of the Juliusz Slowacki Theatre in Cracow: “We, the undersigned colleagues, strongly support Krzysztof Głuchowski, the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, and the right to artistic freedom in Poland which has repeatedly been threatened or suspended in similar cases since 2016. We demand from the Board of the Małopolska Region to not remove Krzysztof Głuchowski from his office as Artistic Director, and from the Polish Ministry of Culture to not withdraw its financial contribution previously designated to the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre.”
The letter has been sent to the Marshal of Malopolska Voivodeship last night. ITI Germany as one of the signatories as well as the European Festivals Association (EFA) and the European Theatre Convention (ETC) have distributed the letter in their networks. Several European ITI centres, among them Sweden, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Swiss, have already sent signs of support.