Artist-Sub-Page 39 - Konstantin Altunin
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We invited the Russian painter Konstantin Altunin to Helsinki for two reasons. The first is that he is an interesting and insightful artist who deserves a wider audience. The second is to stand in solidarity with this artist who has had his artworks confiscated by the State, been threatened with imprisonment, and been exiled from his home country for the "crime" of making art.
In our view, any State-instigated repression and censure of an artist – anywhere in the world – is ignorant, criminal and completely unacceptable.
Yet we see the action against Altunin as something significantly more odious than an isolated incident. We locate it within the context of the Putin regime's widespread and escalating assault on both free expression and the basic human rights of the Russian people.
When one person is threatened with imprisonment for the elemental act of putting paint to canvas, we are each of us – whether artist or non-artist, Russian or non-Russian – threatened and diminished.