FACES

MIKHAIL BORZYKIN

PLACE: MOSCOW

Mikhail Borzykin

The Band which Borzykin fronts, Televisor, has been playing since 1984, and is considered part of the Lenningrad Rock Club.

The Leningrad Rock Club started in 1981 when Communist authorities allowed the opening of the first legal rock-music club. Although it was closely overseen by the KGB many bands inserted veiled protest messages into their songs which became popular perestroika anthems.

Televisor's second album which was released in 1987, created quite a stir due to the song "Your daddy is a fascist." Borzykin recently rededicated this song to Vladimir Putin.

Mikhail Borzykin who will be turning 50 in 2012 is still as outspoken as he was during the Soviet era, and his songs are still banned from music programs on television.

In 2009 Borzykin's band Televisor released another album. "It is no accident that the album is called Deja Vu, because the spiritual and psychological atmosphere today is very similar to that of the early 1980s," Borzykin said.

Borzykin says much of the old Soviet propaganda that Televizor and the other bands were fighting against in the 1980s has returned in today's Russia in a slightly different form. "It's absolute deja vu, the situation is very similar for me," he says. "The slogans are the same, it's again rabid anti-Americanism, it's exactly like the Brezhnev era. Looking for an enemy is a symptom. Only instead of the Communist ideology they've added Orthodox Christianity."

He continues to be a critic of the Kremlin. He has said "It"s not enough just to sing - we are not heard anymore," he is frequently seen at oppositional rallies.

Borzykin is part of the "Putin must go" website and public campaign. The campaign was started on the internet in March 2010 by Russian opposition activist and artists.

Borzykin was introduced to Canadian audiences in 1988 through a documentary called "Russian Rock Underground."

Photo: Leningrad Rock Club

Resources

Watch Borzykin's videos