SAYITASITIS (Part II)
Discussion featuring: Mathias Rust, Dr Robin Stott, Emma Rushton & Derek Tyman, Moderated by Anthony Iles

On Thursday 28 May 1987 a crowd of onlookers congregated around a small Cessna aircraft that had appeared unexpectedly in Red Square, Moscow. To general disbelief, Mathias Rust, a 19 year-old West German, had flown from Helsinki in the West across Soviet territory without permission to land by Red Square and taxi to the walls of the Kremlin. Four months later when he appeared before the Soviet Supreme Court, Rust defended his flight as a ‘peace mission’ to see the then General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party Mikhail Gorbachev.

For some, Rust’s flight was the act of a 'naive idealist' or 'hooligan' for others his 'peaceful gesture' has provided a symbol of the effectiveness of individual and collective activism. He was sentenced to four years in prison, after serving 432 days he was released and returned to West Germany. The only filmed footage of Rust’s arrival into Red Square was taken by Dr Robin Stott, a Briton, who was in Moscow to attend the seventh world congress of 'International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War'. Mathias Rust was not aware of the congress taking place and Robin Stott had no knowledge of Rust or his intentions. Stott was in Red Square filming home-movie footage when purely by chance Rust appeared. Although he got close to Rust as part of the crowd, they did not speak.

SAYITASITIS (part II) coincides with 'Will Someone Stop You…?' a multi-site project by artists Emma Rushton & Derek Tyman which explores the Mathias Rust episode. The project has been organised by Rushton & Tyman in collaboration with Artis Gallery, The Netherlands and Unit 2 Gallery, London. Dr Robin Stott is still an active peace and environmental campaigner and Mathias Rust maintains an interest in current political events. Both Rust and Stott will participate in SAYITASITIS (part II) in order to reflect back on events leading up to and following 28 May 1987. This event also intends to provide an opportunity to consider more generally the role today of both individual and group acts of protest, particularly, in the light of anti-globalisation movements and the 'war on terror'.

Tickets are £4 on the door (includes a copy of 'Flying down to Moscow'). Plus a special performance by David Budimir (aka Buddy’s One Man Band) of songs written by various groups about Mathias Rust.