There is no “politics” in Russia anymore, only “police” (per Jacques Rancière’s distinction). And this is what “police” in Russia are up to, 24/7, 365 days a year:
University student Miloslava Malyarova and her boyfriend were detained on the streets of Moscow in August. They were held at the police station overnight without explanation, and their personal belongings, internal passports and mobile phones were confiscated. During the night, Miloslava says, a drunk police officer came into her cell and raped her. The young woman tried to slash her wrists with a razor in order to force the police to release her, but she was held until morning.
The Investigative Committee, with whom she lodged a complaint the next day, has refused to launch a criminal case. They decided that the young woman entered into sexual contact with the policeman voluntarily. After all, no injuries characteristic of rape were found on her body. “She did not resist enough,” they concluded.
In his profile of badass Petersburg photojournalist David Frenkel, published today in the Globe and Mail, Anthony Feinstein focuses on Frenkel’s father (Alik, unnamed here) as the source of his moral courage and love of photography, not deigning to mention his equally badass mom (Lika) and badass wife (Varya). Or, for that matter, the “family business”: the St. Petersburg Jewish Community Center, one of the most incredible and welcoming places in the city, which Alika and Lika have run for many, many years. I miss all of them and the Center more than I can say.
Below the quotation from Feinstein’s article I’ve posted links to David’s, Lika’s and Varya’s numerous appearances over the years on this website. Thanks to Lika (Leokadia) Frenkel for the heads-up. ||| TRR
That Mr. Frenkel came to find himself with a camera recording voting irregularities may be traced in large measure to his outrage at Mr. Putin’s increasingly dictatorial rule and the unravelling of the rule of law in Russia today. “For some people in Russia, it has become uncomfortable just to do your job,” he said. “Being a scientist, it’s not enough. You do your job, you do it well, but it’s not enough to be a good person any more.”
In trying to understand Mr. Frenkel’s evolution from physicist to photographer, it is helpful to look at his early, formative influences. His family is Jewish, and his father is a Yiddish scholar and translator who photographed his suppressed religion and culture during the Communist era. Jewish religious holidays were forbidden, and therefore celebrated secretly. Mr. Frenkel’s father documented this underground resistance to Soviet orthodoxy – activities that came with their own risks. For example, his work provides a pictorial record of the life of refuseniks, Jews who were persecuted by the state for wanting to emigrate to Israel.