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By Saagar Enjeti
The dissident Russian “artist” Pyotr Pavlensky, famous for nailing his scrotum to Moscow’s Red Square, is filing for Asylum in France.
Pavlensky’s other stunts include wrapping his naked body in barbed wire, sewing his lips shut, setting the doors to Russia’s secret service on fire. Russian authorities say Pavlensky is a sex criminal, a charge he vehemently denies as political persecution.
Pavlensky defended nailing his scrotum to Red Square in 2014 saying in a statement it was “a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of modern Russian society.” Defending the barbed wire stunt he said, “When I did the Carcass piece with the barbed wire, I was not just saying how wonderful our legal system is – people are inside this wire, which torments them, stops them from moving, and they feel pain from every movement. I was also saying people themselves are this barbed wire and create the wire for themselves.”
“Through all of this we were shown that there were two ways for us to be got rid of, or taken out of the political context,” Pavlensky lamented to Reuters. Pavlensky, his partner, and two children fled Russia after learning of the sex crime investigation and say they’re intent on pursuing life in France.
Whether Pavlensky and his family will be granted asylum in France remains unclear.