Yeah so in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, last week (August 17) three members of the Russian group Pussy Riot — Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova — were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for the crime of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’; viz, performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin in an Orthodox church (Cathedral of Christ the Savior) in Moscow on February 21, 2012 [original video | dubbed video].
Judge Marina Syrova called their behaviour “blasphemous” and described it as a “gross violation of public order showing obvious disrespect for society”. She also said, “The girls’ actions were sacrilegious, blasphemous and broke the church’s rules”.
You can read the three women’s closing trial statements here.
Other articles of interest include Vadim Nikitin, The Wrong Reasons to Back Pussy Riot, The New York Times, August 20, 2012: “…what Pussy Riot wants is something that is equally terrifying, provocative and threatening to the established order in both Russia and the West (and has been from time immemorial): freedom from patriarchy, capitalism, religion, conventional morality, inequality and the entire corporate state system.” Sara Joseph (Castan Centre for Human Rights Law) takes ‘A closer look at the Pussy Riot phenomenon’ here (August 24, 2012).
Sean Guillory examines ‘Pussy Riot as Modern Day Skomorokhi’ (Russian minstrels to which Tolokonnikova compared Pussy Riot) on his blog here (August 23, 2012).
In Counterpunch (The Secret History of Pussy Riot, August 23, 2012) a rather deranged Israel Shamir (AKA Jöran Jermas/Adam Ermash) reckons, inter alia, that an OMGWTF! Jewish bloke named Marat Gelman is teh bRanes behind Pussy Riot, claims that the US State Department paid for the August 17 single published by The Guardian, blames another OMGWTF! Jewish bloke (Alex Plutser-Sarno) for the antics of the group Voina (from which Pussy Riot is understood to have emerged) and otherwise writes the kind of shit you’d expect of a bizarro.
On newmatilda.com, Bec Zajac documents a Melbourne rally in support of Pussy Riot held on the day of their sentencing (Local Artists Protest For Pussy Riot, August 20, 2012). (See also : Free Pussy Riot! Melbourne rally, Friday, April 20, April 17, 2012.)
On Sunday, September 2, 2012 there’s a benefit gig at The Gasometer Hotel (484 Smith St, Collingwood) *ing the fabulously talented Terrible Truths, Glow, Spitehouse, Wet Lips, Ex Con and Sick Sad World. All proceeds go to assisting the three women with their legal costs, child care and other needs.
PS. Fuck Putin.
Of related interest : A Survey of Russia’s Most Radical Contemporary Artists, Marina Galperina, Flavorwire, August 15, 2012.
Bob (He’s From Brockley) recommends reading Soupy One’s blog, which has republished an article originally published by Searchlight in May 2004 and titled ‘Israeli writer is Swedish anti-Semite’; he’s also compiled a list of other articles critical of Shamir here.
Vice‘s Harry Langston interviewed Voina’s Alexei Plutser-Sarno and published the results here while Art Threat published an article in February 2011. See also : Stefan van Drake, Voina Group: bios of the key players (December 12, 2011).