Russian NFT artist Olive Allen is making no bones on where she stands on the Russia-Ukraine war and risks great danger in doing so.
After living 11 years in the U.S., Russian artist Olive Allen burnt her only copy of her home country’s passport in front of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City.
Allen, who has been in crypto since early 2018, said that the decision to do this was underpinned by her not seeing herself ever going back to Russia under its current government. She was looking to alter the narrative that all Russian civilians support the government’s decision to invade Ukraine, highlighting that she knew some people in her homeland who had been “brainwashed beyond the point of no return.”
‘Putin’s Russia is not my home’
Allen said of her birth country, “I do not consider Putin’s Russia my home.” In burning the document publicly, she was putting herself at risk when repatriation happens since her disapproval of her home government is out in the open. “I could never return to Russia with the current regime — I’ll be arrested right away,” said Allen.
Speaking on her Twitter account, Allen said that she stands in solidarity with Ukraine, and the “Passport Burning” Non-Fungible Token will be listed on the SuperRare marketplace, with all proceeds going to Save the Children International via the nonprofit charity platform Giving Block in BTC and ETH.
On the bidding page, Allen posted a stirring description: “The War in Ukraine is a tragedy taking the lives of innocent people and bringing devastating destruction. It breaks my heart. I burned my passport not because I do not love my country but because I do not believe in Putin’s Russia. I stand for peace and freedom today and every day.” The auction went live on SuperRare on March 4. It garnered 14 bids and was won for 3.66 ETH by user @dedb8.
It takes more than burning a passport ot renounce Russian citizenship
Simply burning the passport will not by itself renounce citizenship to a country. The Russian government made it clear via federal legislation in 2002 that a person living outside of Russia can discontinue their Russian citizenship at their discretion, provided that are have not been indicted by Russia, have no other citizenship, or do not “owe an outstanding obligation to the Russian Federation.”
Allen would have to fill out paperwork at a Russian embassy, presenting an undamaged passport, to end her relationship with the country legally.
Allen is not alone in using NFTs to raise money to aid Ukraine. Time magazine announced that TimePieces, a web3 initiative, would launch Artists for Peace. An NFT auction including 59 artists will be sold to raise funds for humanitarian and relief efforts in Ukraine. The company said it would not take a cut from any sales.
The Ukraine government is creating an NFT collection to raise funds for the war, and Aid for Ukraine has also received three Solana-based NFTs as donations.
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