Oleg Kireev on Wed, 9 May 2001 13:47:03 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> mailgetto # 38 (Mayday)


"SVOI 2000" movement ("OWN 2000" or "OUR OWN 2000") had organized a 
Mayday demonstration - the second russian street-party. All were dressed 
in suits (so unusual for the unformal people) and held the advertising 
banners instead of transparencies. The demonstration participants had 
been representing themselves advertising the services like: 
"Videofilming. Non-linear montage", "Chemistry lessons", "Logotypes. 
Marketing style", "Bicycles' repair". A column headed by the trumpet 
orchestra "Pokava it'" followed the red oppositionary procession across 
the Yakimanka street and turned aside nearby the "Udarnik" cinema, 
settled at the green field by the fountain and started to celebrate a 
Day of Spring and Labour - a Mayday. At the end the trumpeters stood in 
the fountain playing and the demonstrators danced. That's how Mayday, 
long after the Soviet Union, became cheerful and hospitable again.

People who are known as the resisters-anarchists for their companions, 
the "Against all parties" campaign and many radical actions participants 
and so on, do such pleasant things now. The Mayday demonstration had 
raised all the questions familiar to anarchist ideology, such as protest 
against the labour alienation, against urbanist space, negative 
self-positioning towards on the parliamentary opposition, direct 
expression etc. - but they were only "mentioned" as a background for a 
collective holiday feeling.

Anarchism in Russia had found its positive program finally. There's now 
something to answer a usual rhetoric question "What are you suggesting 
instead?" We suggest ourselves instead of the aged and corrupted 
politicians and their activists - ourselves who are young, well-looking, 
aware and able to do the work which we like "quickly, accessibly, 
qualified". Those who are aware as well have made their choice already. 
And there's no need to talk about the politicians too much. They didn't 
take part in a celebration anyway. But for us the city streets were 
"owned" again, for the second time. They weren't alien anymore, they 
became "our own". As our friends from the Saint-Petersbourgh band "Jah 
republic" sing,

Positive, positive -

no alternative.

So there're already two street-parties, a legendary deputy Bobkov's 
preelectoral campaign and a lot of videoworks and texts in a portfolio 
of "SVOI 2000" movement initiated by Dima Model and Marina Potapova for 
now. Let's look, by the way, at a leaflet they wrote in a very beginning 
of "SVOI's" existence, at winter'99:

:There were unformal groupings, gatherings, identifications before, now 
there's nothing left from this culture. The lower intitatives are 
replaced by styles, propagated by the fashion youth magazines and 
TV-shows, which a whole industry is based on. They aren't "svoi" ("our") 
as well.

People become "svoi" in a process of creative and social interaction. 
Collective holidays initiated from below, social movements expressing 
their attitudes and demands in a case of injustice - so are the 
conditions which will let people overcome an alienated state of being 
and take a completely responsibe position towards on their environment.

"SVOI 2000" movement could become an important social experiment aimed 
to reconcile different groups of people: to support variable creative 
initiatives, local holidays in urban areas, competitions between the 
areas, aim to the aged people and invalids, areal newspapers made by 
their inhabitants; to form students' gatherings of a new kind, youth 
committees of different sorts; psychogeography, areal and local 
statuses, space division:

All this makes us think - together with the completely positive Mayday 
results - that the "SVOI 2000" movement has a far-going perspectives of 
"osvoenie" ("owning") of a post-Soviet postpostmodern space.


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