Opposition politician Alexey Navalny is now selling campaign swag featuring an inscription that reads, “Paris 1968 — Moscow 2018,” with the drawing of a woman throwing a rubber duck in place of a brick.
The image is based on a poster created by Marxist artists from the Atelier Populaire (Popular Workshop) in support of the May 1968 student and worker uprisings across France, which resulted in a snap elections and the eventual resignation of French President Charles de Gaulle.
Navalny’s adaptation of the Paris 1968 image is the work of Russian artist Danya Berkovsky. His design appears on sweatshirts, T-shirts, and handbags available at a new swag store unveiled this week by Navalny’s campaign headquarters, launched to raise awareness and money for his presidential run. “It’s a fundraising store,” Navalny explained in his blog. “[By buying something here,] you’re effectively donating to the campaign.”
The rubber duck in Berkovsky’s drawing refers to Navalny’s 2016 investigation claiming that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev frequents a luxurious summer mansion that includes a special building for the ducks that live in a pond on the property. Among Navalny’s supporters, rubber ducks have since become a symbol for corruption in the Russian government.
Alexey Navalny is running for president, hoping to find a spot on the ballot in March 2018. According to federal laws, however, he cannot stand for elected office, thanks to a suspended criminal sentence for misappropriating about $500,000 from a state-owned lumber company. Navalny denies the charges, and the European Court of Human Rights even ruled that his first conviction violated his right to a fair trial. In November 2016, Russia’s Supreme Court overturned the original 2013 sentence, but a Kirov district court repeated the verdict and sentence just three months later.