Russian activist plans to eat live bat in front of the European Parliament
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Russian activist plans to eat live bat in front of the European Parliament

Credit Petr Davydtchencko

A Russian activist has said he plans to eat a live bat outside the main entrance to European Parliament at noon on Thursday in protest of what he says is an unfair distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.

The activist and performance artist, Petr Davydtchenko, has given similarly provocative demonstrations in the past that have also included eating live bats. For two years, he lived solely on a diet of fruit, vegetables, and roadkill in protest of “an economy of excess and industrial overproduction,” according to a description of his upcoming exhibit at the BPS2 museum in Charleroi.

“Big Pharma has spent millions of dollars lobbying the European Parliament during the coronavirus pandemic. The EU is putting profits before people,” said Davydtchenko. In a message sent to press in the city, he cites a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit that predicts the poorest countries in the world won’t gain access to a vaccine until long after the rest of the globe.

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Davydtchenko, who has been arrested in multiple countries for his demonstrations, has said that his actions are part of a 6-month project to create his own coronavirus vaccine. That work will be showcased from 20 February to 23 April at the BPS2 museum in Charleroi, which displays contemporary exhibits along with workshops and events.

“By ingesting the blood of the animal that has become a symbol of the origin of Covid-19, I seek to create my own vaccine against the disease, and gain immunisation not just against coronavirus, but against the corporate greed governing the actions of big pharmaceutical companies,” Davydtchenko said.

A press release says that entrance to the exhibition will include “a free COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional and based on research by Petr Davydtchenko.”

The Parliament press service has said, “The Parliament is in no way associated to this distasteful and cruel event. Events on the public road are a matter of public order and therefore the responsibility of the Belgian police. The EP’s security services are in regular contact with them.”

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times