Russian art activist Pyotr Pavlensky has been stripped of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, awarded to him in May by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), for his support of the Primorye Partisans.
Officially recognised as a criminal group by the Russian authorities, the Primorye Partisans are an insurgent group in the Russian Far East region of Primorye. After a siege in 2010, members of the group were found guilty of a number of crimes, including murder, robbery and the attempted murder of law enforcement officers.
HRF has stripped Pavlensky of his award and $42,000 prize after he stated his intention to donate the money to the Primorye Partisans earlier this week. Support for the group “contradicts Havel’s nonviolent and creative legacy, ” TV Rain reported, making reference to a statement by HRF. When deciding whether to honour Pavlensky, HRF had sought a guarantee that the artist would not donate the money to a group “employing violence to achieve its aims”.
Famous for his brutal artistic actions, Pavlensky was fined 500,000 rubles (US$7,775) last month for setting fire to tires on St Petersburg’s Malo-Konyushenny bridge in 2014, but was released from serving out this sentence. In 2012 Pavlensky sewed his mouth shut in protest against the detention of Russian punk group Pussy Riot, while in November 2013 he nailed his scrotum to the ground on Red Square.
Source: The Moscow Times