Russia: Authorities cancel activist youth festival in Russia's Far East

An activist youth arts festival in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East has been cancelled after authorities raised concerns that it was promoting an LGBT agenda, apparently because of a play called Blue and Pink that was meant to spur discussion of gender stereotypes.

The Colour of Saffron festival had been scheduled for 16 and 17 March after being postponed in February when it was turned away by a state youth center. Organisers said in social media posts that the owners of a replacement venue had been accused of “attempting to illegally hold an LGBT event” and that the police had questioned students at a local school who were scheduled to participate.

In Russian, the words “blue” and “pink” can be used to signify gay and lesbian.

“That’s it, our festival is canceled,” read a post today on the festival’s page on VKontakte, a Russian social network. “This was done by the local administration–they are so carried away with fighting windmills that they see propaganda in the art of children. They are accusing our director, Yulia, of having lived in Europe and brought perversion and propaganda from there. We are in shock.” Read more via Art Newspaper