Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pussy Riot!

     Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. They were founded in August of 2011 and consist of about 11 women, ages ranging from 20 to 33. Their choice of clothing is interesting, they wear bright colored dresses, bright colored tights and brightly colored balaclavas which is also known as a ski mask. During interviews about their cause, they only use nicknames such as "Balaclava," "Cat," "Seraph," "Terminator," and "Blondie". All of their music involves issues of feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church and Putin. Mostly I have found a great deal of opposition to Putin in their music; a song they wrote entitled "Mother of God, drive Putin away" was part of a protest movement against the re-election of Putin released in February 21, 2012. Also on that fateful day of February 21, 2012, Pussy Riot went to an famous Orthodox Church of Moscow and put on a short concert and called it "Punk Prayer". Three of the members of Pussy Riot were accused of hooliganism, all three were held without bail. In court, the three women were charged of "premeditated hooliganism performed by an organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility". Pussy Riot said their protest was a political statement, but prosecutors said the band was trying to "incite religious hatred" against the Orthodox Church. The reasoning as to why the court thought this is because in one of their songs entitled "Putin Zassal", it states  "The Orthodox Religion is a hardened penis / Coercing its subjects to accept conformity" but I believe they wrote those lyrics because of the link Putin has with the Orthodox Church not just because they have hatred entirely towards religion. In the end, all three of the women were sentenced to 2 years in a penal colony by the judge. During the sentencing the remaining members of Pussy Riot who were not caught came up with the song called "Putin lights up the fire". "Putin lights up the fire" is about issues surrounding the case of the three members and among other demands, the lyrics requested that "Seven years [imprisonment] is not enough, give us eighteen!" Which goes to show these Russian ladies of Pussy Riot are insane, in a good way of course. I have linked the music video for "Putin lights up the fire," enjoy!