Berlin-based drag artist Barbie Breakout has sewn her mouth shut to show solidarity with LGBT Russians and to protest Germany’s lack of response to the oppression, which has seen the implementation of a “gay propaganda” law censoring the gay community and its allies.
The extreme performance art was filmed by Barbie’s boyfriend, and although difficult to watch, it’s a profound statement.
"The pain I felt inside when I had to see in the media what is happening in Russia was greater than the physical pain of the needle,” Barbie told newspaper Die Welt. “My partner held the camera while I did it. But he couldn’t look. In my youth I had more holes in an ear than through my mouth in this performance. Apart from a small bruise on my left upper lip, everything has healed up again. It was about symbolism, not about self-harm.”