Victoria Lomasko in Actualitté

'In exile, Russian author Victoria Lomasko receives the Couilles au Cul Award'

28 January 2023 This Saturday 28 January, at 12.07 pm sharp, the OFF of OFF, the Angoulême "off" comics festival associated with ActuaBD, will host the presentation of the Couilles au Cul Award for Artistic Courage to Russian author Victoria Lomasko. This award, which has been given since 2016, salutes the valour of an author, worldwide.


This prize was created by the author Yan Lindingre, the Off du Off and the website ActuaBD in 2016, following the cancellation of a "Freedom of Expression Prize" launched by the Angoulême International Comics Festival and Charlie Hebdo following the assassination of its editorial staff in 2015, only to give it up the following year.


"The title is deliberately trivial and provocative, but it is there to remind us that the job of humorists, comic book authors and press cartoonists is above all to make people laugh or reflect on a subversive ridge in order to report on our society and its excesses; and some sometimes pay for it with their lives", the creators of the prize remind us.


The winner of the 2023 Artistic Courage Award is Victoria Lomasko, who will soon have The Last Soviet Artist published by The Hoochie Coochie, translated from Russian by Gérald Auclin.


Born in 1978 in the Soviet Union, Victoria Lomasko examines, thirty years after the partition of the Eastern bloc, the remnants of that empire both in Russia and in the new, apparently independent states. And even as the Covid 19 pandemic upsets her plans, the book becomes a record of an era that saw the world's largest country transformed from a squalid authoritarian regime to a frightening dictatorship.


The last lines of this book were written at the beginning of the author's exile, which began in March 2022. In keeping with the Russian literary tradition, where a book rarely deals with a single subject, Victoria Lomasko's The Last Soviet Artist is as much a popular portrait of a world in precarious balance as it is an examination of the status of the artist.


Victoria Lomasko was born in 1978 in Serpukhov (Moscow region). She studied graphic arts at the Moscow State University. An internationally recognised and exhibited dissident artist, her work is in the tradition of reportage drawing as it is practised in Russia.


In March 2022, Victoria Lomasko was forced into exile because of her committed reporting on the political and social situation in Russia.

For more than ten years, Victoria Lomasko has been a contributor to numerous international magazines and newspapers such as Russkii Reporter, Volya (Russia), The New Yorker (USA), The Guardian (UK), Internazionale (Italy), die Tageszeitung (Germany), Knack (Belgium), Libération, CQFD, Courrier International (France), etc.


"It is for these words, her courage and the beauty of her work that the jury of the Couilles au Cul Award for Artistic Courage has decided to honour her this year," say the organisers.

28 January 2023
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