Pavlensky and Nikolaev’s Boycott of Garage Centre of Contemporary Art


Anton Nikolaev

Just a small post but one that is worth posting in order to praise two Russian artists for a single but important gesture of solidarity with a completely forgotten group: the families of dead coalminers from the Kuzbass. Both Pyotr Pavlensky and Anton Nikolaev have decided to boycott a conference on actionism at the Garage Centre of Contemporary Art. The main reason given is that the centre was built with money from Roman Abramovich- an oligarch who at the same time was refusing to pay compensation to the families of miners killed in a blast in a coal mine in the Kuzbass town of Mezhdurechensk, where in May 2010, 91 miners lost their lives. Lives sacrificed because the miners at Raspadskaya mine could only earn a living wage by ignoring safety procedures at Abramovich’s mine. Kudos to Pavlensky and Nikolaev for reminding people of this link between corporate contemporary art and the evil turbo capitalism of Russian oligarchs.


Pyotr Pavlensky

About afoniya

I am a translator, language teacher, independent film scholar who is interested in many aspects of culture. I have my own blog on Russian and Soviet cinema at and I have also written for journals such as Film Philosophy and Bright Lights as well as Ribbed magazine. Outside of film my interest runs to language, politics, literature and my world is centred around the Meditteranean, Russia, Southern Ukraine as well as the UK.

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  1. Pingback: Scattered thoughts (2) on Pussy Riot, anonymity & other political prisoners. | Afoniya's Blog

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