Krasnoyarsk flash mob with 'Risen Jesus'. An original Easter in Siberia
by Vladimir Rozanskij

The living and theatrical art of Maria Gasanova judged an outrage to religion. The first to report it was the journalist Daniil Rubinovič. In Tomsk, a dancing procession for May 1st. In Irkutsk, a "purification of memory" for Stalin: he was unjustly accused of the massacre of millions of prisoners, "while the archives number a maximum of 300 thousand, all justifiable".

Moscow (AsiaNews) -In Krasnoyarsk (Central Siberia), the young artist Maria Gasanova proposed an Easter performance on May 2 on the banks of the Yenisei River, with a very original depiction of the evangelical subject of a risen Jesus walking on water.

Her work led to her being denounced for insulting the religious sentiment of the population, and now she risks arrest. Gasanova proposed the "return to the life of Christ", making an actor in the likeness of the risen Christ meet with passers-by on the riverside, who generally responded very favourably (photos 1 and 2).

"With this moving picture we just wanted to remember that the Easter feast is not only associated with kulič [the cake of the feast] and coloured eggs, but it is above all the resurrection of Christ who offered himself as a sacrifice to redeem sins. of the world, past and future ones”- explained the artist to, commenting on his initiative which continues a series of “theatrical-figurative” representations with a biblical background. “Of course we didn't intend to offend anyone, Jesus is often represented in films, in paintings, why not with this more contemporary genre?”.

The intention was to organize a flashmob on the subject, but the authorities did not give permission, so the action was limited to "living pictures".

The first to accuse Gasanova of sacrilege was the journalist Daniil Rubinovič, who drew up a formal complaint with the local police, which launched an investigation into the matter. He himself declared that he "is critical of the ecclesiastical institution", but still considers the theatrical action offensive to believers, "for whom Easter is even more important than the New Year's party".

According to Rubinovič, “it's not that anyone can put themselves in Christ's shoes and pretend to walk on water… there are films like The Last Passion of Christ, but at least those are stories, this is just a vulgar hype [aggressive advertising] ". On his social pages, the journalist added that "these vulgarities must be prohibited, too bad that today there is no longer the Holy Inquisition".

Maria Gasanova is an artist known all over the world for her living paintings of herself, which she has exhibited in many countries.

In another Siberian town, in Tomsk, the police stopped another similar initiative, organized by the Kotelnaya group, which wanted to represent "the great march of May 1st". The artists began to parade people gathered in the street (especially children) with songs, dances and drawings in the square (photo 3), but the police did not allow them to reach the central Lenin square, stopping them accused of having organized an "unauthorized meeting".

In the city of Irkutsk, located in central-eastern Siberia on the shores of Lake Baikal, the feast of May 1st and Easter days was instead an opportunity to cover the streets with posters praising Stalin, also in view of the "feast of Victory "Of 9 May (photo 4). The initiative was taken by a group of citizens led by a local deputy, Aleksandr Perevalov. The latter explained that it is not a matter of political propaganda, but of "an attempt to purify the memory of the Leader of false accusations". However, members of the Communist Party (KPRF) of Irkutsk have distanced themselves from the initiative.

The posters were prepared at the expense of a group of 103 citizens from Irkutsk and neighbouring countries, who define themselves as "sympathizers" of the KPRF, but not party members. Last year they had already proposed actions to "restore Stalin to history": in their opinion, the Georgian dictator was unjustly accused of the massacre of millions of prisoners, "while the archives count up to 300,000, all justifiable for political reasons, even if perhaps they were not all guilty”.