Kremlin Cans Curse Words

Moscow -- A new law banning all curse words from art, film, theatre, music and media has come into effect this weekend in Russia.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network anticipate further erosion of freedom of expression in Russia.

The Kremlin-backed initiative was given the green light by President Vladimir Putin who is promoting 'clean traditional' values.

Words like khuy (cock), pizda (cunt), yebat (to fuck) and blyad (whore) which falls into a grouping of slang known as 'Mat' is now banned from use in the arts as well as on the street.

Violators of the law face fines of between £40 for a private person and £800 for an organization such as a theatre company, for use. A ban on English loanwords is also part of the crackdown.

The legislation, passed in May, is aimed at films and media which will not be allowed distribution licenses if they use profanities.

Some of Russia's highest profile poets like Mikhail Lermontov and Alexander Pushkin are notorious for the use of Mat in their work.

Andrei Zvyagintsev's the director of "Leviathan" the Cannes Film Festival acclaimed art-house flick could now face censorship. This would also effect lyrics performed by bands including the Art-Punk band Pussy Riot. Putin’s ideology aims to set a “national and spiritual identity” for Russia.

Art Censorship Alive and Well

Aside from the publicized arrest of the band, Pussy Riot, art censorship is alive and well in Russia.

Last year, police shut down an exhibition and confiscated a painting, pictured above, featuring the Russia president Vladimir Putin and his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev dressed in women's underwear. The portrait of Putin, rendered in an Expressionist style, was reminiscent of Max Beckmann.

The work of art was being shown at the “Museum of Power” gallery in St Petersburg.

The authorities also confiscated a painting of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church depicting his nude torso covered in tattoos and other satirical paintings of politicians who backed new anti-gay legislation.

Konstantin Altunin, the artist who created the Putin painting, has fled Russia in fear of being arrested. Gallery owner Alexander Donskoy stated that after hearing that police were waiting at his home, Altunin bought a ticket for Denmark and flew to France. It is thought that he has applied for asylum

For non-Russian speakers, today's homepage Featured Art Video offers a brief course on Russian curse words.