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Post-Soviet Graffiti

Putin, Poutain, Poutine

Post-Soviet Graffiti December 10, 2011 1 Comment on Putin, Poutain, Poutine

To pay homage to the brave, collective voice of the Russian people, we have amassed some of our best Putin and Edinaya Rossiya graffiti images from 2011. To learn more about the Russian demonstrations against “alleged violations in Russia’s recent parliamentary elections,” check out the live updates from The New York TimesRadio Free Europe, Foreign Policy, and the Russian Police Watch.

“There were Elections?” With the Soviet Winnie the Pooh. August 2011. Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo: Alexis Zimberg).

Cigarette Packaging-esque: “Edinaya Rossiya May Cause Impotency.” August 2011. Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo: Alexis Zimberg).

“Putin Totality.” July 2011. Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo: Alexis Zimberg).

Kolya’s analysis of the image above, from our Foreign Policy feature: “As we found out on our travels through Prague, it can be considered ill-mannered to speak Russian to a stranger on the street. But it’s not just about residual linguistic or even cultural dominance from Soviet days: Czechs are cautious of Russia’s continued influence in the region — the personality cult of Vladimir Putin being of particular interest.

Not far from the city’s historical downtown center, we found a wall brimming with images and provocative political claims, such as “Isaac and Ishmael Were Brothers,” and then this stencil describing a “Putin totality.” It remains unclear whether this particular artist sought to depict Putin as a “total” dictator or rather as merely an aesthetically pleasing subject — like United Russia campaigns presenting the political leader as nothing short of easy on the eyes. The chip off his nose poses a threat to Putin’s political legitimacy, at least as perceived within this back alley near the Prospekt Mira metro station.”

“Public Enemy #1.” Near Russian Embassy Where the Expatriated Voted. December 2011. Unnamed Country. (Photo: Associated Press, Alastair Grant).

Putin and Soviet Leadership Surrounded in Winter White. January 2011. Long Island City, Queens, New York. (Photo: Alexis Zimberg).

Even though Russian authorities encouraged citizens to stay at home (as not to catch the flu) and attempted to make Saturday school attendance mandatory to keep students at their desks, tens of thousands of Russian protestors swarmed the major thoroughfares of Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk and other city centres. The highly-attended demonstrations remain upbeat and amicable, despite more than 1000 arrests in the last week. After the violent atrocities that we saw during the Clapping Revolution in Minsk, it is refreshing to see peaceful interactions between Russian protestors and the police.

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