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Participants in the Adverb

Why did the authorities take up arms against an apolitical exhibition in Khabarovsk?

Khabarovsk is the birthplace of whales. Now officially, well, or almost ... Today, one of the marine life "swam" on the Amur near the central Embankment of Khabarovsk. This whale and other creatures, terrestrial and not so, are self-made exhibits of the national exhibition "Adverb", which takes place right on the winter river. As conceived by the initiators, with the ice drift, the exhibition will become mobile and float downstream. But Khabarovsk would not have been Khabarovsk if the officials had not intervened here too and had not started talking about an uncoordinated action. Oddly enough, politics and the coronavirus have nothing to do with it.

Participants in the Adverb
Photo: Lena Vertyankina


The whale and his retinue arrived at one of the central ones - Komsomolskaya Square in Khabarovsk (by the way, one of the trampled "frontal places" of the protesters), like some kind of star in exile: in an atmosphere of secrecy. The opening date of the exhibition was announced on social networks at the last moment. On January 30, I drove into the square, I just want to say "an inconspicuous wagon", but in fact - a truck, the overall figure was unloaded, and carried along the "front" stairs to the river. Six two-legged ones took over the "carcass", four more got the fin. Passers-by joined the surrealism parade in January. Having poured out on the ice, the participants of the whale campaign chose a flat area, and ... began to look for a good angle.


"This is the great twisting of the river whale," announced one of the participants in the "Adverbie" exhibition Alexander Kolbin... “One more turn, here! So it will be clearly visible from the Embankment. "

The whale was fixed on the ice so that from the River Station and the Cliff it seems that it is emerging from the river. Close up, the effect was enhanced with concentric patterns that seemed to radiate from animal water - they were cut out on ice. The masters were involved in the creation of the central figure of the exhibition this year Konstantin Genov и Denis Abdulin... Inspired by whales Shantar Islands (Tuguro-Chumikansky district of the Khabarovsk Territory). The northernmost whales of the planet - bowheads - are one of the attractions of this archipelago in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. The Shantar is also home to: gray, Japanese and humpback whales, minke whales and fin whales; of the toothed whales - killer whales, beluga whales and white-winged porpoises.

“Why did the star whale stand in the ice this year? Because the Khabarovsk Territory is the birthplace of ̶s̶l̶o̶n̶o̶v̶ whales, says the participant "Adverbs" Ilya Lyubitsky. Here, off the coast of the Shantar Islands, they gather every autumn to feed themselves with plankton, get to know each other, and make a lot of new whales. Whales are our everything! And this is a special, star-shaped whale. One of those three, on whose backs stands not only our land, but the whole Earth. Because of the coronavirus, he decided to spend his winter vacation at home, like many Khabarovsk residents. Because Khabarovsk is the most stellar city in the world, the cradle of the Universal mind, a portal to space, and in general the navel of the Earth (as well as other planets). We are the chosen ones! However, every resident of Khabarovsk already knows it. "


The dimensions of the whale made of corrugated cardboard are 3x4x4 meters, weight - about 70 kg. The artist worked on the space livery with the parade of the planets Artem Andreyanov (Zeega). The self-organizing project has no sponsors, as well as the exact number of participants and exhibits: all the days while the wind blows the people's exhibition, it grows overgrown with new figures brought by people, and loses some of the old ones - this is a kind of tribute that Cupid collects for the opportunity to be placed on his gray "back" bristling with hummocks. Any city or village in the world can make its own version of such an exhibition, say the "named".      


In addition to water eyepieces, eyes on legs and fake periscopes look after the sculpture of a whale - with their help, according to the authors' idea, "The Khabarovsk administration is watching an uncoordinated exhibition" and is trying to "catch a whale." This trolling is the reaction of participants to calls to an urbanist from the city hall.

24.jpgPhoto Shoot: Peter Matyushkov

“A person from some department of the Khabarovsk administration called me, said that they had a meeting, and they were resolving the issue with the exhibition. I was asked: are you going to do? I answered yes, although the whale is not mine at all, I am one of the participants who come, make a fish and stick it into the ice. The man said, they say, I do not advise you to do this, otherwise we will turn to law enforcement agencies. He referred to the law, but did not specify which one. And we have a peaceful action, Khabarovsk is generally the capital of peaceful actionisms, "Alexander Kolbin told East Russia.

Ice in the relations between the organizers of "Narechia" and the administration of Khabarovsk was outlined three years ago, during the first exit of the participants to the Amur. In 2019, representatives of the mayor's office advised removing the figure of a polar bear and a school of colorful fish from the river, citing the danger of people being on the ice. The activists refused, and a few days later the bear disappeared, and after a while he unexpectedly "surfaced" in one of the institutions of the Krasnaya Rechka microdistrict on the outskirts of Khabarovsk. The following year, a new symbol of the exhibition, the winged unicorn, was persecuted. In February 2020, the "unknown" escorted the mythical beast from the ice to the shore, but due to the high windage and the supports broken during the transfer, the sculpture lost its stability. Nobody got the unicorn - the creators burned it, remembering both Maslenitsa and Burning Man at the same time. 


"The administration cannot prohibit, we recommend," the deputy explained to East Russia. Vitaly Orel, head of the department for civil defense and emergency situations of the Khabarovsk administration. Mr. Kolbin and I talked, and there is no prejudice towards him, we understand his creative nature, but we must warn you that he is taking on a lot of responsibility! We have regional rules for protecting the life of people on water bodies, they have been since 2006, Resolution 143 "P", it is clearly written there, going out on the ice is not prohibited, but you need to use the ferries that are not there now, or paved paths, they are there too no, and in their absence, you need to make sure that the ice is strong. Moreover, when crossing in groups, people need to walk at a distance of 5-6 meters from each other. How will Mr. Kolbin ensure that when the audience comes to him? And they told him about this. "

Although every winter, as soon as the ice rises, Amur turns into a busy pedestrian route: fishermen and walkers scurry along it from the right bank, where is Khabarovsk, to the left, where the dachas are and back. At the opening of the exhibition there were also cars in the middle of the river. At the same time, not a single official crossing in the area of ​​the former Far Eastern capital is not, apparently, is not expected.    

“We have a rather fast course of the Amur River, it exceeds the norm by 2-3 times,” continued Vitaly Orel. What is it fraught with? The fact that even in the worst frost, the bottom of the ice is being washed away, and there may be gullies. Recently, our excavator on Michurinskoye failed, which was doing dredging near the shore, a man died, do you know? (This is a story with a happy ending: the emergency happened on the morning of January 28, in the afternoon DVRPSO divers were looking for a worker at the bottom of the Amur, and in the evening a message appeared who the excavator operator escaped and went home in shock. At the time of the interview, this was not known, - ed. .). If you go a little north of Khabarovsk, in January, even in the most severe frost, there are gullies of 20 meters in the middle of the Amur. I have been dealing with these issues for many years and I have to warn you. For fishermen, there is also a warning that you cannot hit many holes in a limited area. Each angler must have a cord 12-15 m long, at the end of one - a loop of 60 cm, at the end of the other - a load, so that if it falls through, he throws this loop over himself, throws this load so that he can be pulled out. It will not hurt to have a two-meter board when entering the Amur. I doubt that spectators and exhibitors will carry boards with them and cords of 12-15 meters (and do they hammer? - ed.). Why exactly on ice, why can't this exhibition be placed on the ground ?! Is it all about the name - "Adverb"? So let them call it "Land"! They still set it on fire on the ice, and this is harmful to the environment. Kolbin should think about those spectators who will go to him. There may be teenagers, there may be children. "


“It's like“ it's forbidden to swim on the Amur ”, and the signs are hanging, and the position of the administration is simple - let's ban it, and if someone drowns, we have hung up a warning, and bribes will go smoothly from us. But people still swim, and in winter they go out on the ice, ”the urbanist retorts.


One of the arguments of the Department of Civil Defense and Emergency Situations of Khabarovsk against the people's exhibition is the discharges into the Amur near the Central Embankment, which undermine the ice. Local environmentalists and social activists talk about them all the time, but the stock is still there.

“The issue with the“ shitty ”needs to be resolved, to find out where the drain is coming from, somewhere, apparently, a pipe has broken through, because Vladimir Sidorov (the head of the regional branch of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature - ed.) went with us, he says that, judging by the specific silt sediments, this is exactly fecal runoff. While these drains are running through the collector, they cool down, this is not boiling water, just relatively warm water, which, in an amicable way, should not run into the storm collector, which collects precipitation and groundwater. The city administration must eliminate the mistake, the shit gets into the river, it is wrong, but they talk about something else, ”insists Alexander Kolbin.

Last year, Vladimir Sidorov went on a tour of Khabarovsk's underground rivers Cherdymovka and Plyusninka, together with a team of activists "Veter.Volno", to find out how sewage flows into the sewer, leaving without treatment in the Amur. The ecologist made measurements, promised to sort out the situation together with the specialized services. The results have not yet been released.

The Khabarovsk administration noted that walks along the Amur can be dangerous because of legal discharges, which "cause gullies, but they are not visible from above."

“Probably, the mayor's office is proceeding from good intentions, they are responsible persons, but before placing the figures, we drill in and look at the thickness of the ice,” Ilya Lyubitsky, a participant of the Narechie exhibition, told East Russia. We try to set it closer to the shore, where the Amur freezes almost to the bottom, but near the shore everything is in hummocks, we cannot cut them down. Last year, the guys drilled to 40 cm and threw it, because they simply did not have a longer drill! The ice is thick enough, we are not suicides. By the way, about suicides: our whale is not blue, it is space-colored. Last year, some wrote that our unicorn is for homosexuals, that it is rainbow, but in what place it is not clear. Commentators will always find something to bother with, but to talk is not to do. "



A project that could fall into the "cage" of winter event tourism in Khabarovsk, a large "goldfish" that itself floats into the hands of the administration, and the latter throws it on the shore - this is how the townspeople who have already managed to take a selfie with a whale say about Narechia and dozens of other craft figures.       

“We are not on the same scale as the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert, we have a small Khabarovsk“ Burnin Manchik ”baby, but why don't the administration stop putting spokes in the wheels, then there would be more than one whale from one initiative group , and other artists who now have fewer resources would catch up, they could collaborate, and there would be a huge gallery of cool sculptures! There would be even more creative movement, and young people would finally stop leaving Khabarovsk, they would stay here, because there would be an outlet for creative energy, people would know that you can do something beautiful and modern at home. Okay, you don't support it, but you also prevent it! There are people who have already gathered and have done everything, you need to help a little, this will be a plus in your political karma "- the photographer, participant of the" Adverbie "exhibition, addressed the officials Dina Belenko.

In general, Khabarovsk subculturers and transformers of public spaces have experience of successful interaction with the authorities, for example, the Kvartaly festival in 2017. There were actions where officials simply did not interfere - such as painted old stairs down the street Turgenev. Then the enthusiasts bought paint and for two months painted "talking" fish.


“I was told the dialogue from the administration:“ I saw the stairs to Turgenev, did the guys do it? - Yes! - So what do you think about it? - Cool, I like it. - Cho, would you agree? - Of course not!" The administration perceives only movement from above, and if it comes from below, then it must be massive. When ten thousand residents of Khabarovsk go out and create art objects on the Amur, officials will already try to control it. And when there are 50 figures, this is an argument for the administration that this is not interesting to anyone and should be banned. It is necessary to convey to them that this is a cool, unusual event that attracts attention and investment to the city, like the Silver Smelt festival in Sovetskaya Gavan, where people go out on the ice and even drill holes, ”says Alexander Kolbin.

The organizers of the "whale trip" did not even try to submit an official request for approval of the exhibition this year: in past seasons, officials have already said that "Narechye" is a wonderful project, which has a place on the shore or in some park.

“They are not ready for a compromise, that's why we don't address them. To put somewhere in the ass of the world, in the backwater, they offered us, where just no one goes, I think, for these reasons. It was originally in the concept that the exhibition should be on the river, that it would float away with ice drift. The Blagoveshchens have winter cards on ice in memory of Valeria's grandfather, and we have Amur - a strong Khabarovsk cultural code, we are the people of the river, this is our playground! " - explains Ilya Lyubitsky.


DRY RESIDUE - "Earth!"

Columbus himself would have envied the answer of the deputy head of the Department for Civil Defense and Emergencies of the Khabarovsk Administration to the East Russia correspondent:

“Perhaps your department should take on such a mission, measure the thickness of the ice, and show the organizers of Narechia a safe place? Do people go anyway? "

“This, firstly, is not our authority, to check the ice, and secondly, so that people do not go, do your exhibition on the ground. As a specialist, I say that you cannot test any ice, and no one will do it! This is dangerous, especially since February is already on the nose, the ice begins to thin out due to the sun. And it's always safe on earth. "

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