Tatyana Shamsova on Pussy Riot as an Image of Russian Street Protest

posted 2 Jul 2012, 13:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 4 Jul 2012, 01:30 ]
2 July 2012

Pussy Riot, in my perception, is a vivid artistic incarnation of Russian street protest. They are so colourful, young and provocative in their outfits, in these short-sleeved mini frocks, motley pantyhose and balaclavas. Especially against the background of the gloomy and grey winter Moscow (their main performances occurred in winter). They are so sincere and natural in their aspiration for freedom and their protest against state oppression. They are not affiliated with any political movement. The hidden identities of the singers, the unexpected places in which they appeared, the clumsiness of their lyrics, their music, the slang and obscene language they use are appropriate for the street. This is how the street speaks. They usually write a particular song for a special place of performance. And how meaningful these places are: the roof of a building in a prison complex where they sang “Freedom to Protest — Death to Prisons” (what a roar of appreciation they got); Lobnoye mesto (Forehead Place) on Red square in front of the Kremlin, the embodiment of official monarchic power, where they sang “Revolt in Russia – Putin's got scared”; in Christ the Saviour Cathedral they performed a prayer to the Virgin Mary “to chase Putin out”. What would be a more appropriate place for praying than a church, especially when all secular means of preventing Putin from power had failed! The Cathedral performance on February 4 was the last one. Three alleged participants were arrested in March. [Read more]

The above picture is based on a photo from http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/.