Unusual street signs have begun to pop up around central Moscow, carrying a host of different political messages. RT found out who is behind the exciting campaign.
In a sleepy Moscow suburb lurks the leader of a guerilla insurgency. Hiding in plain view, this head of a self-proclaimed resistance movement asks to be identified by his artist name – Made.
The main weapon in his arsenal is political satire. Hoisted upon everyday road signs, Made’s messages have been appearing at well-known landmarks around Russia’s capital.
“This guerilla movement is about artists and activists who are trying to change the situation,” Made told RT. “The satire is why people love it and want to participate.”
No Russian Che Guevara, Made is, still, talking about a bit of shaking things up – with the help of the road signs. Some of them have attacked MPs for their behavior in office, while others target police for their links to corruption.
Made’s latest creation caused the biggest stir: playing on the recent decision for Russia’s prime minister and president to swap places, the artist erected a tandem bike sign outside their symbolic residence, the Kremlin.
While the signs may have annoyed cops and officials, Muscovites seem to think they are both entertaining and valid.
“Perhaps it could make a difference, placing these signs downtown where there are many foreigners,” a passer-by told RT.
“They are creative, and they draw attention, and they correspond to the Russian spirit,” said another one.
Only two of Made’s signs have not been taken down: not political in nature, they managed to survive. It is an example of Made’s other project – making Moscow a greener and much more cyclist friendly city. That is where his real focus lies, with such missions as guerilla gardening – cultivating urban areas with vegetables patches under the radar, leading their rebellion.
Still, it is the venture into politics that has caused the greatest stir.
“When I heard about the provocative road signs for the first time I thought it was something bad,” poet and satirist Vladimir Vishnevsky told RT. “But when I saw it I realized that they were bringing positive energy rather than negative. The creative youth are interested what is happening in society. They remind us about sores we have, for example the sign about bribes, which is true our roads are bribe-taking grounds.”
Like all good guerilla movements, Made has also been making efforts to spread the word – by issuing a video guide for downtown demonstration.
“I thought about hiding my face but for me it’s more important to talk about these issues and problems,” Made told RT.
The man behind the message is by no means trying to topple the status quo, but he is trying to strike a chord with the public, getting them to stop, stand and stare at the conditions around them – all the while hoping his efforts may be a sign of things to come.