Michael Cunningham and Ilya Danishevsky: A Literary Conversation (Part 2)


I can’t say that this surprises me, it is normal for me, and I have already mentioned, that yesterday night I had only yesterday’s night, I was surprised not by this freedom but rather by people not attempting to interfere in this freedom, not attempting in any way to discern other’s private lives in public spaces. Being in Russia, we understand, that when we sit down in a restaurant, that it is, to an extent, a social declaration We select what to wear that evening, we express ourselves in a required way, we behave in a certain way. Here, and I have seen it also in Berlin, and in many other European cities, people can sit around in their pajamas, and drink coffee without being stigmatized simply for their daily life I can not say that it impressed me, perhaps, it causes more emotions in Russia when every day we life a very uniform life and are constantly preparing ourselves for this life. In Moscow, we have to plan our day every morning we need to understand where we are going to be, with whom, and how we should be today We have to invent our role models for this or that situation. But I can not say that I was surprised by what I have seen here, I think it should be like that everywhere. I think that this is not something interesting to talk about. We should talk about what is happening in Russia because nothing extraordinary has happened to me, there is absolutely nothing to tell I think that for us it would be much more interesting to talk about how Russian culture, Russian media are reacting to this in Russian literature there were never authors, who openly made homosexual statements, and fight in their text for homosexual freedom and for the right to be yourself. Russian literature has completely excluded and is excluding now all of this from itself. And I can not say that this is only due to political pressure from above I think that this is that patriarchal society that praises the force, and not art, or beauty, and within the framework of this force, within the framework of modern Russia we are talking about homosexuality as of criminal subculture. We talk about the fact, that homosexuality is something derogatory, and that there is no scientific apparatus that would talk to the population about the issues of homosexuality, about what is we talk about Orthodox dictatorship, that is used by the state to built a right kind of ideology and we do not talk about Orthodox Christianity, about the fact that ROC (Russian Orthodox Church) is gathering some constant, and so to speak viral stereotypes that are pleasant to the majority and that support in the majority the joy of being a majority. That is why a large number of people are going to be stigmatized and some even more so, than homosexuals. Cancer patients are going to be stigmatized, and for them, it is much more dangerous, than for homosexuals.

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