Saturday, March 25, 2023

Daria Serenko, Feminist Resistance Against War: “I Had to Leave Russia Because of My Activism”

Laura De Grado | Madrid – January 31, 2023

exiled Russian poet, writer, activist and one of the founders of the movement Feminist Resistance Against War who opposes the invasion of Ukraine, Daria Serenko (Khabarovsk, 1993) The book portrays violence and control in Russian state cultural institutions “Girls and Institutions”Which first came to light in Russia in November 2021 and is now published in Spain by Editorial Errata Natura.

“The war has changed everything, it has shaped us in a certain way, the things we do, the messages we transmit, why we do things,” Serenko explains to Efeminista, for whom her book The objective has also changed.

Institutionalized Violence in Russia

When she wrote it, calling for a democratic Russia after the 2019 protests, she sought to “bring to light” her voice and the voices of all women who work in institutions and “to tell how they live, understand and feel that violence” in your day to day.

“It’s hard to understand how they’re controlling you and to what extent they’re control your body, It’s the most terrible thing,” he insisted.

For four years, Daria Serenko was one of the “girls” about whom she has a book. I work Peresvetov in the Pereúlok Gallery and the Nekrasov Library until she was fired for her political activism, specifically for the LGTBIQ+ community and the protection of women’s rights.

“A start-up was all a cyberbullying campaign From the government, directly to me. In other words, there was a whole series of organized complaints and people who were hired to write those complaints to harass me,” the authors explain.

At the time, she faced several cases of workplace harassment, threats and cyberbullying, in which she took old photos from her social networks, shared videos of her private life, or used them to teach history and defense to young people. was accused of “humiliating” for. Rights class citizens in Russia.

re-reading of imperial culture

Now, almost a year later Russian invasion of UkraineAccording to data from the United Nations Human Rights Office on 23 January, 7,068 civilians were killed and 11,415 were injured in Ukraine. imperialist and militaristic culture and its consequences.

Episodes from the novel such as the memory of the May 9 Victory Day or the Miss Russia contest, “a history of the Russian culture of violence, the culture of militarism and how all citizens of Russia have been portrayed over the years”. educated in that violence and that militarismSays the author.

“The book is no longer just a story about girls and institutions, but a story of all these militaristic and imperialist signals that we’ve been seeing for years and considered dangerous, have literally hit us, he slapped us”, Affirma Serenko.

Feminist Resistance Against War

Two days after the outbreak of war, the Russian worker, together with other collaborators, founded the movement Feminist Resistance Against War To oppose the invasion, he launched a manifesto which was translated into 30 languages.

that’s why they started to harass workers “Very actively and with search warrants, house searches, complaints and threats that we might break the law of the Penal Code,” he recalls.

“My departure from Russia was for my activism And it really was a March without a destination, you don’t know well where you’re going, or how, or why, or for how long”, says Daria Serenko, who will be moving into an apartment in March 2022. Activists, after going into hiding in the U.S., fled the country to Georgia.

“Many of our activists were arrested and tortured in police stations,” she describes enthusiastically.

For Daria Serenko, activism has shaped her identity since she was 22 years old, and she believes it has been her connection with the country and her form of “unrequited love” for her homeland. Despite this, being an activist in Russia, they say, is “Feeling in constant danger” and not being able to build a future “because, in reality, it is not stable.”

“I have spoken to many activists on this issue and many describe the feeling that because of this constant moving, you are not able to put down roots in the country you were born in. sense of insecurity Where do you live,” he says.

Strategies to protect human rights

From exile and in the context of the war, members of the feminist resistance against the war maintain a close association between those who have remained in Russia and those who have been forced to leave and are now abroad.

The movement has organized sections in 60 cities, of which Help all Ukrainians who have been deported to Russia And they are in what they call temporary residence points, in inhumane conditions.

In addition, he has created an anti-war propaganda network. Home Self-Publishing Magazine In which they inform citizens about ways to mobilize or escape the status of women in the context of war, with a special emphasis on gender violence.

Regarding the future of the country, he says that he no longer has the strength to instill hope; Instead, he tries to stay focused on his work and not predict: “For me, working is the only way I know right now.” exist with dignity,

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