Ukrainians occupy Russia at Venice Biennale

After the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and invasion in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainians performed a mock occupation at the Venice Biennale in Italy.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Artists dressed in camouflage print outfits with Biennale guests by hijacking a Russian exhibit at the event in Venice. The uniforms had the words “On Vacation” printed on them.

“On Vacation” is a reference to the now-infamous remarks during Russia’s 2014 invasion of eastern Ukraine, when the separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said the Russian soldiers were enjoying a “vacation ... among brothers who are fighting for their freedom.”

Some visitors thought it was a part of a Russian art performance, while others suggested calling the police.

The "On Vacation" art project by anonymous activists mocked Russia’s infamous “little green men.”

According to the activists, the project which will last until June 8, aims to give visitors a better understanding of  what a “Russian occupation” might look like and Ukraine’s reality today.

On their website, the activists are asking visitors to the Venice Bienniale art show to find an #onvacation representative, put on “an occupying power of your choice” uniform and then take a selfie photograph, later to be posted on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #onvacation.

The activists also arranged a competition. The winner of a random draw on June 9 will win a trip to the Russian-occupied Crimea.

TRTWorld and agencies