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Russian alphabet 2022: Artist Andrey Bilzho reflects on war and “partial mobilization”. Part III

Andrey Bilzho

The latest SlovoNovo forum of Russian language and culture, which took place in Montenegro, hosted a display of the artist and cartoonist Andrey Bilzho’s newest cycle: Azbuka 2022 (The 2022 Alphabet), a manifest against the war and tyranny that spells out today's harsh reality – letter by letter. The Insider presents the third and final installment.

Part I

Part II

ALL CARDS
  • Ф [f] Femida. Themis

  • Х [kh] Kher Voyne. F*ck War

  • Ц [ts] Tsar. Tsar

  • Ц [ts] (2) Tsel. Purpose

  • Ц [ts] (3) Tserkov. Church

  • Ч [ch] Chelovek. Human

  • Ш [sh] Shkola, Shok. School, Shock

  • Щ [shch] Shchedraya. Generous

  • Ъ [-] Ot-yavlenny. Hardened

  • Ь ['] Neft'. Oil

  • Ы [glottal i] PokhoronY. Funeral

  • Э [e] Emigratsiya. Emigration

  • Ю [yu] Yudif. Judith

  • Я [ya] Ya. I

Ф [f] Femida. Themis

Х [kh] Kher Voyne. F*ck War

Wordplay: kher is both the old name of the Cyrillic letter Х and the Russian for “dick”, one of the many euphemisms for the swearword khuy.

Ц [ts] Tsar. Tsar

“Remember! I am the tsar!” Peter I tells Putin.

Ц [ts] (2) Tsel. Purpose

“Purpose of visit?” An allusion to Russian artist Vasily Surikov's Boyarina Morozova, one of the leaders of the Old Believer movement (religious opposition in 17th-century Russia), who was arrested and died in prison.

Ц [ts] (3) Tserkov. Church

Ч [ch] Chelovek. Human

Ш [sh] Shkola, Shok. School, Shock

An allusion to Soviet artist Fyodor Reshetnikov’s painting Low Marks Again in which Putin is depicted as the underachieving pupil.

Щ [shch] Shchedraya. Generous

“Russia is a generous soul!” A slogan-cum-brand of a popular Russian chocolate manufacturer.

Ъ [-] Ot-yavlenny. Hardened

Ь ['] Neft'. Oil

Ы [glottal i] PokhoronY. Funeral

Э [e] Emigratsiya. Emigration

“Where are you from, son?”
“Russia.”

Ю [yu] Yudif. Judith

“Thank you, Judith!”

Я [ya] Ya. I

The ball and chain read “we”.


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