Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted worldwide responses from the cultural, sporting, and arts fields. An increasing number of performances and cultural events put on by Russians are being canceled worldwide in response to the invasion.
One of the biggest announcements came from the European broadcasting Union (EBU) who said that Russia would no longer be able to participate in this year’s Eurovision song contest.
EBU, the producers of Eurovision, said the “event promoted international exchange and understanding, Russia’s inclusion could bring the annual competition into disrepute in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine.”
Initially, state broadcasters from countries like Iceland, Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands all called for Russia to be banned from the contest, a move that was also endorsed by the UK’s culture secretary Nadine Dorries.
The Royal Opera House (ROH) has also canceled a planned residency by Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, which is known as one of the oldest and most prestigious ballet companies in the world.
The ROH released a statement regarding their cancellation: “A summer season of the Bolshoi Ballet at the Royal Opera House had been in the final stages of planning. Unfortunately, under the current circumstances, the season cannot now go ahead.” The group was initially expected to put on 21 performances from July to August.
Performances from the Russian State Ballet of Siberia have been canceled by both the Wolverhampton Grand Theater and the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.
In terms of concerts, the Munich Philharmonic has separated itself from its chief conductor, Valery Gergiev, due to his ties to Putin. Munich’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, gave Gergiev an ultimatum that stated if he condemned Putin’s actions he would be able to maintain his position in the Philharmonic, he refused.
“With immediate effect, there will be no further concerts by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under his [Gergiev] direction,” Reiter said. Gergiev was also dropped by his management and had several upcoming concerts canceled due to his ties to Putin.
The Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale will not be taking place as planned after Russian artists and curators themselves chose to pull out. Alexandra Sukhareva and Kirill Savchenkov, as well as curator Raimundas Malašauskas, released a statement in which they explained how they would no longer be participating.
“There is no place for art when civilians are dying under the fire of missiles, when citizens of Ukraine are hiding in shelters, when Russian protesters are getting silenced,” Savchenkov and Sukhareva said in a joint statement.
Warner Bros, Disney, and Sony have halted the release of all new films in Russian cinemas, which means major upcoming releases such as The Batman, Turning Red, and Morbius, will not be released as scheduled.
“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia,” a spokesperson said.
Disney said: “Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the theatrical release of films in Russia.”
The Ukranian Film Academy has also called for an international boycott of Russian cinema, including a ban on all Russian films at international festivals:
“At a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field”. Any action, however, has yet to be taken.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.