Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sochi 2014

A poster designed by Vasily Slonov, one of several exhibited in Perm in a show closed by government authorities.

I don't know what exactly to do about the Olympics.  I'm not expecting much of anything in the way of brave gestures from Johnny Weir or any of the other athletes who I doubt would do anything to risk their chances of competing.  But something must be done so that the mafia that rules Russia doesn't get away with this new pogrom.

More posters by Slonov:

The artist at work


Perhaps a more immediate threat to any political expression by athletes is the IOC itself.  Its charter prohibits any public political gestures by athletes.  Yes, I remember their stellar record from the 1936 Games.
As might be expected, right wing homophobes like Bryan Fischer are cheerleading for Putin and the thugs.


Stephen Fry's letter to Prime Minister Cameron and the IOC calling for an Olympic boycott, or at least for moving the Winter Olympics to another location.

I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian "correctively" raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself. "All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing," so wrote Edmund Burke.
Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those "good" who allow evil to triumph? The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory.
The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world. I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do.

1 comment:

M.McShea said...

Powerful Image! We boycotted the Russian Olympics in 1980 over their invasion of Afghanistan. How soon and how sad has our moral compass changed. In terms of the injustice about to be permanently institutionalized in the great modern oligarchic state, we must reframe the words of William James and fight grave injustice and grave inhumanity with the force of “the moral equivalent of war”.