worldwide self-isolation has led to a surge of domestic violence and, as a result, aggression in the streets. 26-year-old artist Catherine Nenasheva are unable to stay away from the problem. She puts up ads in the districts of Moscow and invites people to quarrel with her. Moreover, participants are not only victims of violence but also the perpetrators. About intimate conversation at a table in your own backyard, we talked with the art activist.
I’m not the first time working with this theme and have always understood its importance. As well as the fact that Russia is talking about it is taboo. I have personal experience different violence. To speak about their experiences only possible in closed communities. For example, in social networks. And I as an artist have always been interested in – what can you do? On the other hand, there are statistics of the European Union, that during the quarantine, the level of domestic violence increased by one third. People are very close to each other, they have nowhere to go, to let it out. My friends and occasionally with shouts and scandals, which can be heard from the neighbors.
So the idea arose to offer people to talk about violence and swearing, so they can pour the accumulated emotions. Then I thought that this can be done in the yard, putting up ads in different areas and invited people to swear.
You’ve started in St. Petersburg?
Yes, at first it was 2-3 promotions in St. Petersburg. To my surprise, the conversations were so in demand that I continue the action for a second month. Now have held several protests in Moscow, Yaroslavl and plan to go to Krasnodar.
– How is it done technically?
– actually, it all depends on the person who is calling me in the yard. Usually he responds in social networks or ad (for those who do not use the Internet). We agree about a convenient location and meet at the appointed time. We have a table, sign “Porugalsya with me” and all sorts of little things. For example, a vase with flowers I bring, and they bring chairs. Then sit down and begin to talk. Sometimes violence, sometimes about what they heard from neighbors.
– What kind of people come to fight: gender, age, profession?
– Very different. At first, it was also the artists-activists, but then they started to come engineers, teachers, educators.
– Yes. And this is one of the most important audiences for me. In the same media on teenagers have little to say, and they are experiencing enormous problems. In particular, violence in the family or in educational institutions. Come to the teenagers, which was important to receive at least on-site support. One girl told about the incest, about which too little is said in Russia. She said he feels spoiled, thinks there’s something wrong and can’t start a relationship. She wanted just to share this, to vent or something.
But the most important that through the event, she met other girls with the same experience. I believe that when people with the same traumatic past together, they do this can help.
– come To the meeting, only victims of violence or those who commit it, too?
– much To my surprise, both of them. In the early days of the campaign, I met with a veteran of Chechnya. He came on the ad and wanted to talk. He has signs of PTSD that are often found in former military personnel. That is, he behaves very aggressively: beats wife, children, fights in some pubs. It was important for him to start the conversation and admit that he is committing violence. For me it was a surprise. Think those people on the contrary deny it and will never go to a psychologist or psychotherapist. And then, apparently, it worked that he didn’t need to go in closed rooms. Just go with beer in the yard and discuss what is happening with him. But more importantly – what he wants and can do.
This is perhaps the most striking example. Sometimes I can talk just with men working jobs that come to the same Peter to work. They talk about his violent lifestyle. From the conversation it becomes clear that in their small towns, they often suffered abuse from family and others.
Why are they sharing with you?
– you Know, quite a large number of people I talked to, completely understand that this behavior prevents them from living. They want to get rid of it. But to acknowledge himself the author of the violence is very difficult. Moreover, this applies not only to men. Who me come a lot of women. They recognize that committing psychological violence. It is difficult to talk about it openly. And in the background sometimes aggressive campaigns against domestic violence people are just afraid, I think that they will do even worse due to the recognition.
How many people have you already listened to?
– For these eighteen months have passed somewhere in the 17 meetings. And heroes, if I may say so, was the man 35. As an artist, I believe creating urban place-making support that are needed by people and can change their life.