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Sex of the Oppressed

Nikolay Oleynikov
Publication Studio Guelph
Artists' Books
15 × 19.8 × 1 cm
184 pp
Conversations, Culture, Activism, Queer

This book is an experiment in introspection about sexualities, gender and radical sensibilities in Soviet and Post-Soviet culture. It speaks to a grass-roots politics focused on the historical/hysterical conditions of the Putin era. Why has “sex never happened” in Russia, why does it “not exist” and why will it probably never work? How is it that in contemporary late-Putinite Russia there is such incredible rage whipped up against the queer, gay and feminist theories and practices? What brought Russia to implement outrageous proto-medieval anti-gay laws? And how for fuck’s sake is it possible that there have been only a few cases in the whole history of modern Russia in which the questions of sexuality have reached the daylight of half-sane public debate?

Nikolay Oleynikov, the recognized Russian left-wing activist and artist, member of Chto Delat collective, and originator of numerous important cultural initiatives, busily sets about answering these questions in dialogue with his close friends. These include the philosopher and poet Keti Chukhrov; Oxana Timofeeva, also a philosopher and a member of Chto Delat the queer activist and scholar Grey Violet; and Kirill Medvedev, the renowned poet, translator, radical socialist activist and frontman of the Arkadiy Kots band.

Sex of the Oppressed is composed of four sincere dialogues in four modes: a “kitchen-table talk” with Keti Chukhrov on Soviet and Post-Soviet culture; a “police interrogation” with Grey Violet on queer activism, including [her/his/its] personal account of working with Voina and Pussy Riot; an “intimate epistolary” with Oxana Timofeevaon animals and femininity; and a “question-question session” with Kirill Medvedev on male feminism. The edition also includes three new series of graphic works by the author of the project, Nikolay Oleynikov.

Translated to English by Jonathan Brooks Platt. Originally published in Russian in 2013 by The Free Marxist Press, an independent activist publishing house based in Moscow since 2008.

Softcover, perfect-bound, b/w

  1. sex of the oppressed

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