Team 29: 📜 Email about wasted time

posted 19 Nov 2019, 10:54 by Translation Service   [ updated 19 Nov 2019, 10:58 ]

16 November 2019 

Hi, Tanya Torocheshnikova here. This week has been a total wash-out for me.

I’m writing this newsletter in the middle of the night and thinking about how strange it is how everything in life changes.

Until recently, there was a cinema on this site, and soon it’ll all be rubble. And later, there’ll be a massive, ridiculous apartment complex (Hey, Sobyanin! Hands off my Moscow!). Only yesterday, you were this ordinary student at the Moscow Aviation Institute, and today you’re a defendant in a fabricated criminal case: trial, cell, remand, psychiatric evaluation – what on Earth’s going on?

Everything is fast paced and fleeting. The news is out of date by the time it has barely even appeared in your newsfeed, while the amount of content is increasing exponentially, and it’s a complete mystery as to when you’ll find the time to watch, read and listen to it all. Even the best memes survive for a couple of hours at best – it would be off message to share them by the evening. I mean, come on, everyone saw it all ages ago! You get consumed by this fear of missing out if you don’t check social media for a whole hour, even.

I can’t imagine how people coming out of remand or a penal colony feel nowadays. It seems like even in the space of six months, everything changes beyond recognition. Where will we be and who will we be when they release the Moscow Case defendants Ivan Podkopaev, Danila Beglets, Kirill Zhukov, and Evgeny Kovalenko? What town and what country will we be living in? How many roads are they going to dig up in the My Street programme? How many more cinemas are they going to demolish in Moscow? Who’s going to be president? Oh, wait…

As it happens, almost all the articles and interviews that went across my desk recently dealt with the issue of prisons (on that note, stand by next week for an awesome project on the Team 29 website), and I can’t help but think what a crying shame it is to waste time.

Time when you could read a million books, do a load of useful things, or simply spend time with your loved ones. But instead, you’re going to spend two years in some rotten barracks somewhere in the wilderness of Arkhangelsk region, in the company of hardened criminals. And you’re telling me it’s a correctional system? Yeah, right.

We have somehow reached the point where getting 2-3 years for peaceful protest has become an everyday occurrence. It’s understandable – the brain can’t cope with all this news streaming in and activates a coping mechanism. But the more I talk to various lawyers, and political prisoners themselves, the more I think that you mustn’t get used to this sort of thing. You need to keep thinking about the fact that people are being put away for nothing, destroying their lives and robbing them of their time. You need to remember that this is not normal and not right, and that things don’t have to be this way.

That’s why I’m going to keep reading and writing about how political cases are brought in Russia. So, I’m asking you, too, to read about it and help those who find themselves held hostage by the State.

And if it all becomes too much to bear and you want to zone out, you can always go and give your loved ones a hug. Because there may come a time when it’s too late for that, too.

Take care of each other,

Tanya, Team 29

Translated by Lindsay Munford