A "Semiotic War": Decoding Russian Dissidence : Rough Translation What can a blank piece of paper, four ballerinas, a scarf and snuff box mean in Russia? A conversation with Russian Anthropologist Alexandra Arkhipova about how anti-war protestors resist the war in Ukraine through code and hidden messages.

The Scarf and the Snuffbox

The Scarf and the Snuffbox

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Vintage illustration, Mechanical singing bird in a snuff box, 18th Century duncan1890/Getty Images hide caption

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duncan1890/Getty Images

Vintage illustration, Mechanical singing bird in a snuff box, 18th Century

duncan1890/Getty Images

In the early days of the war against Ukraine, standing on the street in Russia with a "no war" sign was illegal. But what about holding up a blank piece of paper or an image of four ballerinas? Rather than staying quiet, Russian anti-war protesters are developing new ways to resist through coded messages.

In this episode we bring you a conversation with Alexandra Arkhipova, an anthropologist who studies, collects and shares instances of "semiotic war" in a country where protesting can land you in prison.

You can follow Arkhipova's work on Facebook or Telegram.


Send us an email at roughtranslation@npr.org.

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