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Usva Inei

Working from my own experiences as a queer, trans-non-binary Russian immigrant, I explore the dual role of queer Russian immigrants being representatives of a culture that has instigated an aggressive and unforgivable war and being oppressed and denied basic human rights by that same culture. Many queer Russians, myself included, actively oppose the war and protest against it in any way they can. Yet we are met with brutal suppression and utter disregard of our freedom of speech.

I am submitting a set of prints that present scenes of protest and oppression common to the queer Russian community today. They address topics of government oppression and the treatment of its citizens (in an extremely gender binary and patriarchal context) as mere cannon fodder or receptacles for creating more cannon fodder to be thrown away; violent suppression of freedom of speech and identity expression; as well as the heartbreaking experience of feeling trapped and lacking choice within a state of war. We want to fight the war and fight our government, but it often feels like nothing can be done.

I have used different techniques to create these prints, from drypoint to etching and linocut. The source imagery is a combination of photos I have taken, sketches I have made myself at protests, and imagery from news sources.

I want to present the prints in a "non-traditional" way. Instead of framing them neatly, I use intentionally broken frames without backing or mounts. I would like to mount some of the prints directly onto the wall using magnets (these leave no damage on the walls).

Artist Bio:

Usva Inei is a trans non-binary mixed media artist, who uses print-making as a central element of their practice. Working from their background as a queer Russian immigrant, Usva uses various print-making techniques to explore themes of misuse of power, suppression of freedom of speech, and generational trauma.

Instagram: @usva.inei


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