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“In a time of war, everyday objects gain different meanings.” A selection of works from ROAR // Everything Is Univocal exhibition

On March 1, the exhibition ROAR // Everything Is Univocal opened its doors on the Spatial online platform, presenting works by authors from multiple countries published in the first four issues of ROAR (Russian Oppositional Arts Review). ROAR is an online digest of works by fiction and non-fiction writers and artists opposing the war and Putin's dictatorship. The Insider offers a selection of works by ten authors, with genres varying from paintings and photo reports to theater puppets and outdoor installations. The earliest works date back to the Chechen Wars, and the latest were created in the fall of 2022.

  • Ania Likhtikman

  • Anonymous-39

  • The Party of the Dead

  • Sergey Maximishin

  • Pavel Otdelnov

  • Katya Yefimova

  • The fjodorrr Collective

  • Andrey Kumanin

  • Maria Subbotina

  • Marina Skepner

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ROAR:#1, April 2022

Ania Likhtikman

I live in Israel, and most of my Russian-language life takes place online. This is the space where my friends, employers, and co-authors are. For two weeks, I couldn't draw, I could only follow the news. This is what the drawing entitled What? is about. Then I came to, and I knew I needed to get back to work, which is when I realized that I don't have to draw anymore; the project doesn't exist any longer, my colleagues are now a “statistical error,” prisoners, and refugees.
Ania Likhtikman


This work of art was created after the Bucha events. At the time of war, everyday objects gain different meanings. This tracker of useful habits could be used by the troops on the battlefield.


  • Healthy Habit Tracker. I’ve got this! I promise to myself ... Not to rape anyone.
  • Healthy Habit Tracker. I’ve got this! I promise to myself ... Not to shoot at civilians.
  • Healthy Habit Tracker. I’ve got this! I promise to myself ... Not to rob peaceful locals.

The Party of the Dead

The Party of the Dead is a political and artistic project launched in 2017 in St. Petersburg. The existence of the Party is a response to the death of politics and to the politics of death, including (and starting with) that which is being pursued by the Russian state. On February 22, 2022, after the Russian recognition of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics’ “independence” and on the eve of the war, the Party held an anti-war action at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery—a place desecrated by Vladimir Putin's visit just before that—against the unscrupulous politics of memory that uses the dead to justify military aggression. On March 7, 2022, by the end of the second week of the war, the Party of the Dead held the Z200 action on the necropolitics of Putinism: hushing up the losses among the Russian military, lies about not using conscripts in the “special military operation”, as well as appalling proclamations from TV screens to the mothers that their children are “fakes”, while the bodies of the dead are simply left to rot in a foreign land as if they did not exist at all.


  • (In the background) "The dead do not need this. The living do." (Signs) "Too few corpses." "The dead don't need war."
  • "Russia's strength will grow with each grave."
  • "Dearer than the living"
  • "Russians do not bury Russians." "We don't leave ours behind (only their corpses)."
  • From left to right: "We don't leave ours behind (only their corpses)." "Mothers! Your children are fakes." "Russians do not bury Russians." "Dearer than the living".

Sergey Maximishin

I’m not sure any text is needed here; everybody understands everything anyway.

The photographs were taken in and outside Grozny in January and February 2000.


  • "Welcome to hell. Part II. We're back!"

ROAR:#2, June 2022

Pavel Otdelnov

In my Soviet childhood, I fell asleep looking at the patterns on the carpet. I always thought they were hiding something creepy. The title of my work refers to Sigmund Freud's essay “Unheimlich” (“Uncanny”). In this text, Freud argues that the creepy, the uncanny is hidden in the quotidian. It is always there, but we are used to not noticing it.

Maybe there, behind the façade of the Soviet past and the nostalgia for it, one should look for the causes of today's catastrophe.

Gallery of fragments:

  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment
  • UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015, fragment

General view:

UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015
UNHEIMLICH//UNCANNY Installation, 2015
Pavel Otdelnov

ROAR:#3, August 2022

Katya Yefimova

Every day, Russia keeps killing and causing unbearable pain to people. To common people. To those who are like me. To my neighbors. All the notorious greatness of this country is built on bones. Behind every diamond in the Russian Empire tiara, there is suffering and death. Behind every brick in the Kremlin wall, there is suffering and death. And now, what was it all for?
The Crown of the Russian Empire
The Crown of the Russian Empire
Katya Yefimova
The Kremlin Masonry
The Kremlin Masonry
Katya Yefimova

The fjodorrr Collective

On March 14, Patriarch Kirill, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, handed over a Mother of God icon to Victor Zolotov, chief of the Russian National Guard, so that its image would inspire “young warriors of Rosgvardiya embarking on the path of protecting the Fatherland” by taking part in the “special military operation”.

We read about this, and on the night of April 22, on Good Friday eve, did a set of Patriarch of War graffiti. One of those was on the pavement in front of a Russian Orthodox church in Hamburg, where a portrait of that same Kirill, aka Vladimir Gundyayev, hangs next to the gate. By morning, it was painted over with gray paint—the graffiti, that is, not the portrait. Then we sent another Patriarch of War painted on a board to the Russian Orthodox Church – as a reminder that there will be neither resurrection nor absolution.
Patriarch of War
Patriarch of War
The fjodorrr Collective
Patriarch of War
Patriarch of War
The fjodorrr Collective

Andrey Kumanin

These puppets appeared by chance. A couple of years ago. In the forge of a metallurgical plant in Israel. They are made from old mittens, those sewn in prison camps. And from used broken wooden pallets on which metal is transported. It was called The Theater of Working Gloves. The theater had to put on something. And the puppets chose Varlam Shalamov's Kolyma Tales. And then the war began. The repertoire has changed. But the clothes and faces remained the same as in Kolyma Tales.
  • Puppets from Shalamov's Kolyma Tales
  • Irpin. Man is blessed by his ability to forget. Varlam Shalamov
  • The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers

ROAR:#4, October 2022

Maria Subbotina

The Precious Defender

Made of native Ukrainian minerals

The very depth of the Ukrainian soil, its color and texture, suggested this topic to me. When the invader approaches, the eternal, naturally occurring Warrior in beryllium armor rises from the depths. Nicknamed “the sunny stone”, heliodor gives his actions the unbeatable power of Light. The deepest alchemy of battle magic activates. As for the Earth, she is both pained by the missile strikes and at pains to console all her children. She mocks the enemy and accepts him into herself, only to become his death. Heroes, however, do not die. Glory to the heroes!

The Ukrainian soil remembers everything and will overcome everything. Let no criminal who attacks its freedom and dignity escape punishment.

The image features a tank with a flag – the triumphant Chornobaivka in the background. (Because of the chorus.)

“The Explosion” is the spirit of the popular song “Want a light?”. It offers the enemy a chance to smoke in an inappropriate place and is mostly made of salmiac (to sober them up).

The war is unbearably horrifying and deadly; it blackens the defender’s wings, but he remains the eternal warrior of the light. Morale is stronger than death. Ukraine, in the image of a girl made of extremely rare topazes, is consoled by a large goethite cat.

The Precious Defender
, contents:

Anapaite, Ca2Fe2+(PO4)2×4H2O, Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine
Apophyllite, rare-earth in pegmatite, Prudiansky mine, Ukraine
Astrophyllite, Pryazovia, Dmytrivka, Ukraine
Heliodor, Be3Al2Si6O18, Volodarsk-Volynskyi, Ukraine
Beryllium, Volodarsk-Volynskyi, Ukraine
Boulangerite in quartz, Iesaulivka, Nagolny Kryazh, Donbas, Ukraine
Vivianite-kerchenite, Fe2+3(PO4)2·8H2O, Kerch, Ukraine
Helenite in phosphorus concretion, Podilia, Ukraine
Goethite, Volodarsk-Volynskyi pegmatite field, Ukraine
Grunerite-asbestos, Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine
Carbonate-fluorapatite (phosphorite), Kamenets-Podolsky, Khmelnitskaya Oblast, Ukraine
Quarts (rock crystal), Nagolny Kryazh, Donbas, Ukraine
Cinnabar, HgS, Nykytivka, Donbas, Ukraine
Labradorite, Volhynia, Ukraine
Langbeinite, Kalush, Prykarpattia, Ukraine
Manganese ore, Ukraine
Monazite, grains in quarts with prosopite and weberite, Ukraine
Morion, Volodarsk-Volynskyi pegmatite field, Ukraine
Salmiac, Manzhykiv Kut, Donbas, Ukraine
Petalite, Shevchenkivske deposit, Ukraine
Spodumene, Shevchenkivske deposit, Ukraine
Struverite, albite (clevelandite) Volodarsk-Volynskyi pegmatite field, Ukraine
Topaz, Al2(SiO4)(F,OH)2, Volodarsk-Volynskyi pegmatite field, Ukraine
Topaz on albite, Volodarsk-Volynskyi pegmatite field, Ukraine
Topaz with fluorite inclusions, Volodarsk-Volynskyi, Ukraine
Phenacite, Volodarsk-Volynskyi pegmatite field, Ukraine
Fluorite, Volodarsk-Volynskyi, Ukraine
Chalcedony on sea lilies, chalcedony-displaced limestone, Pryazovia, Donbas, Ukraine
Shorl, Korets, Ukraine
Erionite in calcite, Kara Dag, Crimea, Ukraine
Amber, Ukraine

Sources of included imagery: banknotes and coins of the National Bank of Ukraine.

The Defender’s gaze: Taras Topolya, the frontman of the band Antibodies. You fill my heart with light. You are the Light of the world!

My solidarity is with modern artists defending their Earth and their Freedom, fighting on the side of good! Dear warriors, defenders, men and women, come back alive and burn our hearts with your creativity! Long Live Ukraine!

Glory to Ukraine!
The Precious Defender
The Precious Defender
Maria Subbotina

Marina Skepner

Me And My Army is another work about daily internal resistance. Every day I breastfeed my daughter and read the news. I hope my horror is not transferred to her through the milk. I collect the extra milk and quietly draw little men on a big sheet of paper - this is my imaginary army. The milk alone is not enough, the little men are as yet invisible, they need fire or intense heat to appear: that is how the very technology repeats life.
Me And My Army
Me And My Army
Marina Skepner

The exhibition ROAR // Everything Is Univocal is on display here.

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