Marina Naprushkina

Marina Naprushkina (1981, Minsk) is an artist, feminist, and activist. Her diverse artistic practice includes video, performance, drawings, installation, and text. Naprushkina works mostly outside of institutional spaces, in cooperation with communities and activist organizations. She focuses on creating new formats, structures, and organizations based on the overlap of self-organization in theory and practice. In 2007, Naprushkina founded the Office for Anti-Propaganda, which concentrates on power structures in nation-states. In 2013, Naprushkina began the Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit initiative. The initiative grew to one of the largest ones in Berlin, and built a strong community of people with and without migrant and refugee backgrounds.

I Want a President
Installation, 2021

Naprushkina's I Want a President refers to the mass protests against the Lukashenko government in Belarus, her country of birth, in the summer and autumn of 2020. The peaceful protest actions were largely carried out by women. The Belarusian philosopher Olga Shparaga calls this movement a “revolution in progress” and a “post-national revolution”.
The artist's work is a homage to Zoe Leonard's seminal piece I Want a President from 1992, which departs from white, patriarchal, orthodoxy-determining politics and calls for a new, more pluralist, more inclusive political imaginary. Naprushkina also pays homage to the musician and activist Maryia Kalesnikava, who has been imprisoned in Belarus since 2020 and has been sentenced to eleven years in jail. Similarly, Naprushkina tries to imagine a new kind of politician in her work. The text conveys the urgency of rethinking political concepts, representation and ultimately, governance, while the visual component of the work draws on the floral motifs and traditional technique of Maljavanka painting, which was common in Belarusian villages in the middle of the last century and was mostly practiced by women.