Discussion: How Heroes Left and We Stayed. Third-Wave Russian Actionism: Where and Why We Navigate


In conversation with guest artists, actionists, and researchers of Russian actionism’s current wave, Katrin Nenasheva will discuss the very periodization of this type, what forms activism can take in the 2020s, and how it is affected by the pandemic.

Pavel Mitenko and Sylvia Chassaing’s 2017 article “Third-Wave Actionism: The Art of Free Action in the Time of Reaction” introduced the authors’ own look at the periodization of Russian actionism. While attributing the 1990s actions (starting with the action E.T.I. Text by the movement Expropriation of the Territory of Art (E.T.I.)) to the first wave, and actions staged between the second half of 2008 and the beginning of 2010 (including those by the groups Voina (War) and Pussy Riot) to the second, what Mitenko and Chassaing identify as third-wave actionism embraces performances enacted in the mid-2010s by a new generation of artists, from Party of the Dead to the art activist Darya Serenko.

The speakers will discuss the influence of early actions on the artists of subsequent generations and the way activism in Russia will evolve (if it will at all) after the pandemic.

Moderator – Katrin Nenasheva

Participants: Pavel Mitenko, Tatyana Volkova, Maria Alyokhina, Roman Osminkin, Party of the Dead

Please note that this event is 18+


Katrin Nenasheva is an actionist artist, psychoactivist, and director. Representing the third wave of actionism, her works implement an interdisciplinary approach to explore the life of closed communities, one of Nenasheva’s key methods being the engagement of a wide variety of people not related to art, regardless of their age and education, in actions and art projects. She is the founder of Urban Self-Expression Headquarters—the first creative platform aimed at generating art activist practices. The Headquarters will be represented at the 2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art due to open in September 2020.

Tatyana Volkova is an art historian, independent curator, feminist activist, staff member of the Research Department at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, co-founder of MediaImpact International Festival of Activist Art and the Fem Club platform.

Maria Alyokhina is an activist, member of Pussy Riot, co-founder of MediaZona.

Pavel Mitenko is an actionist artist, curator, and researcher. Member of the Radek group and several independent activist and research initiatives, including NII Mitingov, MediaImpact, etc. His texts have been published in Khudozhestvenny Zhurnal (Moscow Art Magazine), The New Literary Observer, Artkhronika, and Flash Art, as well as at Colta and OpenSpace online resources. Mitenko has lectured at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, The State Tretyakov Gallery, and NCCA.

Roman Osminkin is a poet, independent researcher, and member of the Techno Poetry collective.

Party of the Dead is a activist art group founded by the members of St. Petersburg’s Voina (War) art group.


Free admission with advance registration.

The talk will take place in Zoom and will be broadcast on YouTube.