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<nettime> "LIFESTYLE" edition, Moscow 2003
Oleg Kireev on Tue, 13 Jan 2004 23:18:23 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> "LIFESTYLE" edition, Moscow 2003

"LIFESTYLE" edition: Moscow "ghetto" 2003


It was about ten years ago when the word "impostor" had firstly appeared
in the anarchist and left radical milieus which ever tended to adventurism
and humor. They also used to say "revolutionary impostor". This name had
been successful in showing a social type, a person whose life consists of
prestigious freelance work or foreign trips in a mix with existence in
artistic or anarchist communes, sometimes hitch-hiking and sometimes crazy
amounts of money (grants, honorariums or the suspicious affairs' outputs).
Many became impostors at last decade when long-term social connections
have been broken and former workers were becoming travelling business
"shuttles", scientists - market sellers. In the former "ghetto" edition -
an "Against all P's" compilation - we have already briefly outlined an
image of a revolutionary impostor who was then called "an asocial,
declassed element".

A few years passed and we got to know that progressive European philosophy
had also revived definitions of "nomad", "migrant", an ever escaping and
disappearing type who doesn't deal with the state, doesn't fit to any
usual social stratifications, avoids all definitions. After another few
years our own society had turned into an (illusionary) clear and stable.
They don't like impostors here anymore. Former impostors from PR and
business domains ride to supermarkets in Cherokee Jeeps, buy whiskey and
oysters and get an advertising prospect "Obraz zhizni. Lifestyle" for
free. There they try to recognize themselves on pictures with silver and
bellows. And the revolutionary impostors keep on their unbelievable,
irrational, partisan, vigorous activity.

This time we're not analyzing a type of an "impostor" anymore but rather
we give an opportunity to speak to an impostor himself. Now we don't do
any direct political declarations - rather we show our view towards on
this society and our position within this society by showing our

We'd like to clarify a literary question besides that. Contemporary
literature slowly gives up being ironical, multilayered, philological,
composed of cues and allusions clear to only those "concerned". Instead of
a refined and complicated language we suggest an immediate telling of real
stories which have happened to the authors. An orientation on the simplest
talking language is taken. That's why the distance here is minimal; and as
Dmitriy Kostenko did well say in his text, "this is a game, but it has
nothing in common with a postmodernist game, this is an irony, but not a
postmodernist one".

Our comrade Dmitriy Kostenko, in 1994-96 an editor of a "Black star"
almanac and a "New Nestor" bulletin, a great street speaker, a
propagandist of anarchy, autonomous movement, struggling Palestine and
immortal juche ideas, traces on very roots of "revolutionary impostorism"
in his piece "A cocktail of laughs and real bloodthirst". Kostenko
distinguishes between the revolutionaries of a revolutionary epoch and
those of a stagnation epoch and states that today's rebels don't truly
believe they can change the world - unlike them who witnessed the fall of
Soviet Union: they believed they can come and take the power like
democrats did.

Pavel Chernomorsky, a journalist and leftist radical, tells about heroiń
works of trotskyists from Saint-Petersbourgh in mid-90s, their fameless
cooperation with National bolshevist party, their radical actions and
these actions' discussions in bohemian salons, about boyfriends and

Andrey Stvolinsky, a participant of the events connected with leftist
terrorism of late 90s sheds light on the history of the N.R.A. ("New
revolutionary alternative") group. Other members of this group have been
sentenced to long imprisonment terms in May, 2003. Andrey Stvolinsky's
text answers many accusations in betrayal which have been addressed to him
during the process. The text reveals new and exclusive facts about the FSB
office explosion at April, 4, 1999, and it couldn't be published until the
court on the N.R.A. case was over, what was one of the reasons for the
whole edition delay.

Akhmed Arsamakov, a Chechenian human rights defender and a historian of
mythology and culture of pre-Islam Ichkeria, tells about the
intellectuals' attempts to influence corrupted authorities in militarized
Chechnya. He focuses on stories of two representatives of intelligentsia -
poet Abdula Sadulaev and children tales writer Iya Nikolaenko - and their
poverty in Grozny during the war caused by Abdula's innate inability to
serve the interests nor of pro-Russian editors neither of nationalist
bureaucrats and commanders. Story had also turned to be an epitaph to
Abdula Sadulaev because publishers have gotten an information on his death
short before the publication.

An anarchist, writer and theoretician Alexey Tsvetkov (who has also a fame
of a "rightist" due to his temporary cooperation with "Limonka"
newspaper), unveils an opposite side of his life unexpectedly: a well-paid
work as a speechwriter, political technologist and PR-maker, close
contacts with the high new Russia's state and financial elite of 90s. He's
conscious about the ethical ambiguity of such a position but states that
it gave him opportunities to prepare radical editions, produce books and
radio program, to run a site. Besides that, Tsvetkov's experience seems
outstandingly important to us because of the question of the use of PR and
advertisement techniques by leftists. The story is followed by an addition
with his crazy advertising slogans and plots.

Oleg Kireev, a "ghetto" project initiator tells how he conducted the first
press-conference against RF president Vladimir Putin. It had happened at
UN Geneve headquarters press-center the next day after the presidential
elections at 2000, though the first attempt had been prevented by an
activist's arrest by a direct order of the Geneve UN office head, a
Russian diplomat Vladimir Petrovsky. The press-conference was dedicated to
the human rights violations practiced by intelligent services against
persons involved in the N.R.A. case. The story sheds light on the way
international diplomats and press process and filter information, as well
as on quite an unconventional way of political activism, with hitch-hiking
and other adventures.

Dmitriy Model is a veteran of a spontaneous situationists' movement
DVURAK, a founder of several punk-projects during 90s, and now he's into
the cinema-making and runs a tactical project indyvideo.ru. In his
contribution he tells about his extremely impostory project - a trip to
Northern Korea for free, with the use of a fake State Duma deputy
assistant's mandate.

Marina Potapova, an initiator of Free and Anonymous Art studios (early
90s), a "Svoi 2000" movement creator and a cinema scriptor, reminds the
good old times of communal living on Vavilova street in which for some
time several participants of an edition have joined together.

An unbearably sad, romantic and poetic history entitled "Polina" told by a
human rights activist and marginal religions explorer Alexander Burtin
brings us to an atmosphere of a youth romance in student hostels and
artistic studios.

A writer and an experimentor Vasily Lifanov tells about his friends the
artists in a form of light and witty parables.

And - an artist Masha Demskaya in her brief etudes outlines the pictures
of a magical hallucinogenic living…

The book introduces our understanding of a lifestyle as an essential part
of an existential choice of a human. Now, in the period of a repressive
stabilization in Russian society, the authors believe that the question of
a lifestyle is a question of someone's confession. Who are you by
profession? Where do you do shopping? What do you read? Whom do you vote
for? - all these questions can only falsely orient us. "Tell me what your
lifestyle is and I tell you who you are".

The book follows long tradition of an anti-copyright ethics. The authors
welcome free distribution and republication of their stories and thoughts.

The layout concept and cover of the book are done by our friend an artist
Igor Sacharow-Ross based in Cologne.

Cheers from

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