The year 2012 was one of political and social upheaval in Russia,more than could even fit in one calendar year. The protest movement, which dominated so much of the news that year, began with demonstrations calling for fair elections in December 2011, and its effects continue to be discussed. 2012 was also the year of Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer’ in Moscow’s Church of Christ the Savior (and their subsequent trial), the Bolotnaya Square Case, intensifying controversy over the LGBT rights, outrage over the “Magnitsky List,” and the passage of the “Dima Yakovlev” law, banning adoption of Russian children by American parents.
What does this turmoil mean for contemporary Russia? Our roundtable looks at the intersection of art and politics, writing and protest, activism and performance in a year that moved Russia back into the world’s headlines after years of indifference.