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(Credit: Amnesty Internation)

Art

Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova acquitted of pornography charges

Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova has been acquitted in court in regards to alleged pornography charges where she faced a possible six years in prison if the sentence was passed. 

The feminist trailblazer has been pushing the forward-thinking motion of body positivity in her art for a long time now. However, recently this tact landed her in hot water in her homeland as she faced the courts for drawings she posted on social media back in 2019. 

Tsvetkova might have been acquitted of the charges for now, but her mother, Anna Khodyreva, has spoken of her concerns that this may only be the start of the controversy amid heightening censorship controls in recent times.

In a statement, Khodyreva wrote: “We rejoice, but not yet completely. The prosecutor’s office can go for an appeal within 10 days.” While she has had the backing of many condemning the drummed-up charges as draconian, but seeing as though the case was brought to court in the first place, an appeal is not out of the question. 

Her transgressive ways have often been the cause of controversy in Russia. Back in 2019, the 29-year-old artist also faced authorities over alleged LGBTQ content in a play that she put on with a youth theatre group which contravened an anti-gay propaganda law passed by Russia in 2013, which looked to prevent minors from being exposed to non-traditional relationships. 

This landed Tsvetkova on Russia’s list of “foreign agents”. Since then, her art has continued to kick up controversy in her homeland and shines a light on the wider debate about the stranglehold that Russian authorities are applying to culture. 

Tsvetkova’s lawyer Aleksandr Pikhovkin has reported that on this occasion, he thinks an appeal is highly likely” and issued a statement saying: “With regard to the future of the drawings, the court has clearly expressed its findings that the original position and context in which these drawings were included do not allow them to be considered pornographic.”

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