Recently, the court of appeal of Paris took the activist of the Femen Ukrainian Yana zhdanovoj accusations of exhibitionism. Recall that in 2014, the musée grévin Zhdanov held a Topless protest “Doll Pudu” in which with an aspen stake is finished with a wax double of Putin. In an interview with “Apostrophe” Yana Zhdanova, who for the third year lives in Paris, told us about the court Saga actually has not yet ended, what would happen if the French President will be a woman, and why the Femen movement ceased to exist.
Arthur Gore: Ian, the fact that a French court has cleared you of allegations of exhibitionism per share with a puppet of Putin, believe their victory?
Yana Zhdanova: actually this isn’t over. I actually won an appeal a few days ago I called my lawyer and told that the Prosecutor is going to appeal to the court of cassation. He does not agree with the fact that I’m not an exhibitionist, he wants to sue next. Either it is his personal initiative, or is a harbinger of the coming to power of right, because the decision is political and it is political, associated with the figure of Putin, so I don’t want it so just close. It seems that I won, and the law is on my side, but the Prosecutor wants to continue to sue.
— It turns out in France Femen are being influenced?
— There is also “nuts” twist. When you live in Europe, you realize that freedom is not much more. No, of course, more than in Ukraine, but then how to look. In France the law works, unlike Ukraine. Here you can rely on some sort of fair justice, but if you condemn, then having the argument, a good lawyer, and if the law is on your side, you risk nothing. In Ukraine you can understand how this state of Affairs, so there is a difference.
— And the difference between holding shares in Europe and Ukraine? You can compare how society reacts to Femen in France and us.
— A significant difference, by the way, no. When we came from Ukraine to France or other European countries to do the action, then all shouted, “Bravo! What girls rock”. When we did the action, and came about this news in France, too, all clapping, saying how we should be doing, protesting against the dictatorship in Russia and Ukraine, they are all freedom fighters… But when we arrived in France and began to do the same here, people suddenly started complaining and saying, “what is going on there? You do not want us here, we’ve got own laws.” For example, we were rebuked for their action in Notre Dame de Paris. But when Pussy Riot made a rally in the Cathedral in Moscow, the French are very much their support and outraged that the girls planted for 2 years for promotion in the Church. When the same thing done by Femen in France, people began to shout that it’s too sacred a place. Or a reaction to the cut cross in Kiev. The Europeans supported this action, saying that it is an act of democracy, the manifestation of extreme atheism, that is so cool, but when Vatican I kidnapped baby Jesus from the cradle, I threw tomatoes, said that too a sacred place, and why am I on the Shrine raised his hand. In fact, is the hypocrisy: if it happens somewhere else, the Europeans support, because “we are Democrats and the freedom of speech, freedom of expression,” but if all this is happening in our country, “why are you here and touch the sacred?” And people who Express support for the right and say: “why did you come, bring down your Ukraine.”
— Direct threats received?
— Of course. We had a house Femen in Paris. For two years it was an office and training center, and residence all in one. We have there, at the gate wrote: “we are going to kill you dirty whores.” Sent letters with threats. To us even the police came and asked whether everything is fine with us, not persecute us. Sick in the head enough everywhere, and it does not depend on nationality. In Ukraine against us had a lot of aggression here, not without her.
— Yana, the way in Ukraine on Femen now almost inaudible. New loud stock no. Why? The movement decided to focus on Europe?
— Femen does not already exist. In 2015 it’s already over. All parted like ships at sea. The team, which was before, not anymore.
— How not? Though not in Ukraine but in the world as some shares are Femen. Or is it not your girls?
— What the hell is happening. Each simulates some activity in Spain, in France, even in Ukraine there are a few girls led by Anna Gutsol. Something they from time to time shoot, hold events… But this: sat-sat, and then suddenly thought, well, shall we go in to do something? System and concept that was initially, when we daily without weekends and holidays working for the benefit of our ideas, it was all over. We moved to France two years Femen has existed, and then everything started to crumble and fall apart. For example, I don’t even know who in France is now engaged in the website, who maintains a page in Facebook. They write some long texts that are not related to our activities. The only thing that connects them with the Femen, which everyone knows is what they are protesting Topless and writing on the chest slogan. But people do not understand what they are doing. They think that if a girl undressed, wrote on breast slogan, it’s sexy and it’s a femen-style. But I, as a Femen activist, one of the most active participants and founders of extremism don’t understand what they’re doing. I don’t want public scandals, but to me it’s all unpleasant.
— It turns out that European shares Femen already have nothing to do with authentic Ukrainian movement?
— You can, of course, to call such actions the activities of Femen, but I like a man who still from Ukraine got used to protest in the way Femen, are unable to call them. People that shaped the style of the Femen protest only five or six people, and all Ukrainian women. When we were joined by the Europeans, we were very happy, all adopted into their ranks, but these girls have left the activities of Femen and not protest. Who came right now that it’s for girls and what they do, for some reason, I don’t know. Now Femen is no longer an organization, and style of protest. The style that we created throughout the existence of our organization, just borrow. People use their bodies in art, the political struggle as a way to Express their political position.
— If the movement Femen broke up, why did this happen?
— Do not share the money and the power (laughs). The girls who took part in the actions were real activists. No one engaged in self-promotion or promotion of your own face. When we have self-proclaimed leaders since the collapse of the organization. Some girls just let themselves say that they are the leaders of the organization, and then, and the whole organization. It was the beginning of the end. Despite the fact that we have always repeated that we are not a classic feminist organization that we are something new that we are liberal, and emphasized their democracy, however, we finished the same way as all the classic feminist women’s organizations: all quarreled, did not share power and influence, they began to say “we cool”, “no, I’m the baddest, I’m the leader”.
— Thought to transform the movement Femen political party?
— Of course, we thought about it, especially at the beginning of our activities in Ukraine. We wanted to create a political party, but you know that politics is always dirty and certain rules of the game. If you play on them, then you’re going to Parliament, regional councils, and if you’re against the system, she’ll just spit back. Here you need to either go on compromise with himself, to overcome their principles and pretend that you are a part of this system, or simply more not to do it, and do something else. For example, the active position can be transformed into art. You can become a Director. So many ways to Express it. I believe that artists, Directors, journalists, the intellectual elite, are doing much more to shape policy and public opinion than those comrades, who are sitting in Parliament.
— That is to say that Yana Zhdanova will be engaged in other forms of protest against the system?
— The theme of women I have always wondered and will wonder, I just don’t want me to associate with people who are now called Femen. I would have never joined the organization called Femen and looked as it looks now. I wouldn’t have to do any of the action and photos. This is absolutely something is terribly changed, and not for the better. I hope to use my experience to make a more universal and another product.
— Why do you say that now with Femen everything is so “horrible”? Were there ideological differences?
— First of all, even visual. We never hid the fact that we’re sexist against protest. We are not opposed to use a different female body in protest, but when it concerns certain topics. We still had a selection of girls. Shares to make girls who are not ashamed to undress. We used female sexuality. Under sexuality, we understand the attractiveness to the opposite sex. Any man, if you ask what’s hot and what’s not, it is very straight and obvious answer. But when female sexuality began to be called simply the naked body is not the same thing. You can be dressed, but to be much sexier than a man who is stripped, and I wish he didn’t do it. Maybe it sounds cruel, and not from the point of view of classical feminism, but the fact that we called Femen — it was the idea of radical anti-system with the help of female sexuality, because women’s sexuality in addition to not a lot. This is the main capital that exists among women, we tried to transform to fight the system. We used this as a political tool. It was something new, interesting and it’s probably us, and glorified. We had an idea and wrap this idea. Like it or not, people still pay attention to the image, and then try to grasp the essence. Now that the girls just crossed classic Femen and feminism, and get this hybrid. It also has a right to exist, but this is not Femen. This is the case, than Femen is not just.
— You said you had a selection of girls. And as he passed?
— We did not have such a right casting. Comes a girl, she wants to participate in the action and involved in the action. No problem. But it’s risky, you may break in the process of the action, arrest or permanently be put in jail and have a criminal case. I, for example, criminal cases in France, Italy, Ukraine, Turkey and a lot of administrative Affairs in all the countries where we protested. In Ukraine at all Femen activists were criminal cases. This activity, which is a danger not only to freedom and reputation, but even for life. Not everyone can afford to keep this up. Not everyone has the courage and motivation. So the screening happened. But, of course, was the name we stock girls who conform more to the image of Femen.
Soon in France the presidential election. In your opinion, the National front leader marine Le Pen has a chance to win?
— Has large. It will be released, at least to the second round. But the right is too radical program, so still hope that she won’t be President I have. It has a very large support in France. I was in small villages, people in the South of France for her.
— If she wins, it will be a disaster for people with these free and liberal views as you have?
— It will have its consequences. But in France, as in the US, it’s not dependent only on one person. This is not Russia, where one person or a couple of KGB men decide everything. There is a political elite, of a tradition, so the coming to power of one man must not turn with foot on the head of the whole system. But radically if the right people come to power, it would signal that society wants that is configured properly and ready to support radical right-wing ideas.
— On returning to Ukraine you think?
Someday maybe… If I figure out how I can organize my life to return, in terms of what I can do for Ukraine, I’ll be back. But it seems to me that even now I can for the country to make much more of France than back in Ukraine.
With relatives from his native Makiivka communicate? That feel when they tell you about life in the fake Republic?
— Required to communicate with family, friends and childhood. We keep in touch. But I can understand, I guess, only people who occupied themselves with cities. When you’re talking on Skype with mom, and hear through Skype as the rocket flies, but you can’t help it, it’s terrible. At least 25 shares done, even set fire to the Embassy, it does not change. Missiles will cease to fly.
— Plan a new action in Europe?
— My long-running main action is a judicial process, so the work is enough to approve the right of women to use their body as a tool of protest, and called this “the exhibitionist”.