Petition: Impose cultural sanctions on the Russian Federation

The Russian Federation has willfully and maliciously violated existing international standards and agreements.

Together with current political and economic sanctions, as well as a ban to compete in sporting and other international events, we call for sanctions that would limit Russia’s presence within the international cultural arena.

Russia is effectively a totalitarian state, and too often it uses culture tool picked from its state propaganda toolbox.

For the sake of Ukraine, and to uphold and preserve the principles of peace and order, we are calling for the international cultural community to:

1. Cancel all projects which involve the Russian Federation, including projects implemented with Russian money.

2.  Suspend the operations of all Russian cultural centers located in partner countries.

3.  Remove Russian nationals from the supervisory boards and cultural partnerships, cancel sponsorships, and withdraw organisational support.

4.  Ban representatives of the Russian Federation from competing in international competitions (e.g., the Eurovision ban), and from participation in international exhibitions, forums, and other cultural events, including:

a) contemporary art exhibitions and fairs, such as the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta, etc.

b) the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, and other high profile film festivals.

c) the Salzburg Festival, Avignon Festival, Arena di Verona Festival, and other musical and theater festivals.

d) international book fairs, including the Frankfurt Book Fair, London Book Fair, etc.

5.  Stop covering Russian culture in the media.

6. Pull out of partnerships with all artists and entertainers who openly support the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his actions, as has already been exemplified by the Munich Philarmonie, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London and a string of other theatre companies.

We, Ukrainian artists and cultural activists, highly value the stance taken by some Russian cultural influencers who have openly condemned the Russian aggression and military action against Ukraine. They cannot be blamed for criminal actions of their government. Art has always remained at the forefront of humanitarian values. We strongly believe that culture cannot be subservient to political propaganda, instead it should be utilised for developing critical thinking and promoting dialogue.

The cultural sanctions were already imposed by the Metropolitan Opera, the Frankfurt Book Fairthe Festival de CannesLatvian National Opera and Ballet TheatreEuropean Film Academy and many other organisations.

The Russian Federation is a rogue state. Russian culture, when used as  propaganda, is toxic! Don’t be an accomplice!


The signees:

Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Informational Policy of Ukraine

Galyna Grygorenko, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine for Arts and Artistic Education

Volodymyr Sheiko, director of Ukrainian Institute

Oksana Lyniv, conductor

Pavlo Gudimov, curator, founder of Art center Ya Gallery

Marta Trotsiuk, founder of Gallery 101, Head of Gallerists Association

Artem Braichenko, Head of Kyiv Secretariat, Project Director, The British Ukrainian Society

Kostyantyn Shumsky, gallerist

Olesya Domаradzka, gallerist

Sergiy Savchenko, gallerist

Vlad Troitsky, director, founder of «GogolFest»

Yana Barinova, Director of the Department of Culture Kyiv City State Administration

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, musician, «Okean Elzy»

Maks Yakover, founder of Big City Lab

Oleksiy Botvvinov, musician

Valentyn Vasyanovych, film director

Olga Plyska-Pasichnyk, opera singer

Andriy Bondarenko, opera singer

Andriy Kurkov, writer

Andriy Yurkevych, conductor

Irma Vitovska, actress

Natalia Vorozhbyt, film director

Natalya Pasichnyk, musician

Serhiy Zhadan, writer

Valentyn Sylvestrov, composer

Oleg Sentsov, film director

Nariman Aliyev, film director

Kateryna Gornostai, film director

Pavlo Makov, artist, represents Ukraine on Venice Biennale 2022

Tamara Trunova, theater director


The list is being constantly updated below…

You can also sign it here