“Voina” means “war” in russian. Against what and who are you in war?
Peter Verzilov: Activists of the Voina group believe that the condition of “voina” (“war” in Russian) is best in describing what we do in art and politics – are actions are not merely critique, reflection or reaction to certain issues, but they are structured more like a carefully staged military operation. We fight on different fronts and each action attacks in multiple directions. For example, in the “Fuck for the heir Puppy Bear!” collective fuck action we fought not only against the pornographic nature of the Russian electoral system and the 2008 presidential elections, but also against narrow-minded political activists, bloggers and philistines, who refuse to be creative and realize that its not the year of 1904 and their “moral norms” are obsolete.
Though since we are, first of all, a political art group, a collective that uses the language of art to address political and social problems, there are “main objectives” of our attack. We go to war against the corrupt and violent Putinist junta that has been in control of the political scene and life Russia for the past 10 years. We go to war against the police, which regularly detains and brutally tortures civil activists. We go to war against the oil-and-natural gas-sucking elite, who’s wealth is created in exchange for Russia being kept a socially and politically underdeveloped country. Voina activists create an image for youth to strive for, to live and act like creative urban guerillas. And this life of creative combat is, indeed, a war.