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ART EXPERT Sofia Trotsenko

Strength in consciousness. It should be applicable to any sphere of activity.

The 20th century has gone down in history as the century of recognition of the equality of rights between men and women. That process is still not complete, moreover, some countries have not started it yet. However, speaking of Russia, it is fair enough to consider that the general picture has drastically changed over the last 100 years. Yes, the society still portray some stereotypes about woman’s place and role, and the more you move from Moscow, the such patterns increase. For instance, talking of the capital, the permission for a woman to work as a train driver is still on the wait list. Generally, a woman’s right to professional realization is still an issue in some elds. In the World’s Bank’s gender equality ranking, Russia shares the 34th position with Marocco, Uganda, and Burundi. So we clearly have something to work on both public consciousness and legislation levels. However, a target vector is given.

Inside contemporary Russian art sphere, tolerance towards all thorny matters is at a very high level today. Also, here are more and more females’ names appearing. I follow the art by Ul’yana Podkorytova, Antonina Baever and Tanya Panikyor. Among new names, some are of a great interest as well, like Varya Grankova, Mika Plutitskaya, Dasha Neretina. All of them di erently deal with topics of violence, women’s rights and political agenda. Each one has its own, unique, recognizable manner and the way of speaking to the world. At the same time, it is obvious that not only women explore gender issue living in such risky times. Suffice it to recall the works by Shifra Kazhdan.

At work, I deal most often with women, starting from students enrolling at the School of Design of the RANEPA or going to the Winzavod Laboratory and ending with the heads of museums. Marina Loshak, Irina Aleksandrovna Antonova, Olga Sviblova – this list can be continued with the variety of names of women leaders.

Nevertheless, I do not tend to divide the world between woman’s and man’s power and attribute any special features to it. I see the power of a human being itself highly signi cant, beyond its gender identity. In such risky modern spheres, this power is measured by the ability to proactively interact with reality, create and broadcast the truth searching for rational and appropriate interpretation. In other words, strength is in awareness. And it should be applicable to any eld of activity.