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Queer club in Russia marks second birthday with ‘art porn’ calendar

Queer club in Russia marks second birthday with ‘art porn’ calendar

A queer club in Russia has decided to celebrate its birthday in a novel – some might say daring – way. Popoff Kitchen has collaborated with photographers and models in Russia and other parts of Europe to create a porn calendar.

Although LGBI people in Russia face a lack of legal protections, it would be wrong to believe the country misses out on a buzzing gay scene.

Popoff Kitchen calendar
Matthias, photographed by Anton Shebetko

There are gay meeting places in most of the major cities. Popoff Kitchen was launched two years ago in Moscow. Creator Nikita Egorov-Kirillov wanted a specifically queer techno party, as a ‘safe space for all queer kids and a platform for queer artists to show their music and art.’

The night runs monthly at Moscow club Dissident, with quarterly special big nights elsewhere. However, in 2019, he’s hoping to bring parties every other month to other European cities, including Berlin and Paris, among others.

Dmitry Kudritsky and Vlad Parashchuk, photgraphed by ND and Ilya Zhuravlev
Dmitry Kudritsky and Vlad Parashchuk, photgraphed by ND and Ilya Zhuravlev

Popoff Kitchen’s kitchen fantasies

The Berlin-based ‘art porn collective’ Pornceptual collaborated on the calendar. It’s on sale via the Pornceptual website and can be shipped worldwide.

‘I was collaborating with Nikita from Popoff Kitchen already,’ says Pornceptual’s Chris Phillips. ‘So he asked me to help him curate this calendar and I thought that it was a fun idea.’

Hugo, photographed for Popoff Kitchen by Erick Monterrosa
Hugo, photographed for Popoff Kitchen by Erick Monterrosa

Russia has a notorious anti-gay propaganda law. Authorities created the legislation in an attempt to prevent minors seeing any relationships other than ‘traditional’ families. It has been used to ban Pride marches and also limits what Russian media can broadcast and what can be sold in bookshops.

Ramon., photographed by Anton Shebetko
Ramon., photographed by Anton Shebetko for Popoff Kitchen

The calendar will not be on sale in any shops in Russia, but can be bought via mail order.

Does Egorov-Kirillov think there will be any advance in LGBTI rights in Russia while President Putin remains in power?

‘I hope that, little by little, gathering attention to the situation in regard to LGBTQ rights in Russia we will change things.’

A naked man leaps in the air in a kitchen
Bernardo Costa, photographed by Rafa Medina and Joao Maciel – full image available on calendar

Given that the party’s name is Pop0ff Kitchen, the theme for the calendar is the kitchen as a place of sexual fantasies. Photographers featured include Erick Monterrosa (Madrid), Andy Bogat (Moscow), ND & Ilya Zhuravlev (Moscow) and Anton Shebetko (Amsterdam), among others.

Some of the images are too explicit for us to show here, while others we’ve blurred.

Anton - PopOff Kitchen calendar
Anton (Photo: Anton Shebetko)

Eastern Europe and LGBTI rights

Photographer Anton Shebetko is based in Amsterdam but is originally from Kiev in the Ukraine. Coming from a part of Eastern Europe that also lacks behind when it comes to LGBTI rights, he says he was happy to contribute images.

Nektarios, enjoying some spaghetti!
Nektarios, enjoying some spaghetti! Photographer by Anton Shebetko

But he says Ukraine, ‘is quite different [to Russia]. There are small improvements. For example, now, there is a huge pride event held each year in Kiev.

‘On other hand, the war invasion in the east of Ukraine, organized and supported by Russia, prompted an uprising of nationalistic movements, and they are definitely against the idea of equal rights.’

Follow Popoff Kitchen via Facebook and Instagram

See also

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