OLGA JITLINA & ANDREY YAKIMOV
ARTIST & HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
THE AMANDA WEIL LECTURE
• Jitlina’s Russia Land of Opportunity board game isa useful tool for recent immigrants that helps navigate the challenges of attempting to migrate to Russia.
Olga Jitlina’s projects often investigate labor migration, its narratives and illusions in post-Soviet space, in unconventional ways. The Land of Opportunity (2012), co-created by human-rights advocate Andrey Yakimov, is a board game that traces the destiny of the millions of immigrants who migrate to the Russian Federation from former Soviet Central Asian republics annually. The game lays out a litany of potential traps and consequences that migrant laborers face if they fail to navigate a tortuous web of regulations and informal expectations, from lost wages to police beatings. The Land of Opportunity is now given to new migrants to help guide their journey to Russia. As part of her 2011 residency at the School of Theory and Activism in Bishkek, Jitlina inaugurated the progressive, gender-equality-focused Polyandry Party of Kyrgystan and launched a media performance titled Week of Silence in reaction to Russia’s recent abortion- restriction law.