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Jailed Russian Band Pussy Riot : Celebrities Fight Against Censorship in Russia

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Jailed Russian Band Pussy Riot : Celebrities Fight Against Censorship in Russia - ArtLife Magazine

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Moscow - Jailed Russian band Pussy Riot, a feminist punk-rock collective that stages politically provocative impromptu performances in Moscow on Russia's current political life, are awaiting for the verdict to be announced next Friday, August 17th. The unfortunate girls have been detained since the beginning of March on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred." On February 21, 2012, as a part of a protest movement against re-election of Vladimir Putin, the three women from the group came to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, crossed themselves and began to perform a song – “Mother of God, drive Putin away.”

It is widely called a show trial that aims to make an example of the trio, thus, the girls find a worldwide support. The New York Times and The Guardian have reported mobilizing responses from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sting, members of The Beastie Boys, Pete Townsend, Martha Wainright, and Jarvis Cocker, to name a few. On stage in Moscow Madonna told to the crowd, "I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think that these three girls – Masha, Katya, Nadya – I think that they have done something courageous". Yoko Ono wrote on her Twitter account, "Mr. Putin you are a wise man & don’t need to fight with musicians & their friends,"

Meanwhile, freedom is not guaranteed for these girls, as there is a strong opposition in a face of Russian Orthodox Church. A lot of religious people find the performance highly offensive yet still suggest that justice system in Russia is absurdly harsh to this case. Next week will become the crucial point for the image of Russia and its judicial system in a world.

Pussy Riot consists of:

Maria Alyokhina, a 4th year student at the Institute of Journalism and Creative Writing in Moscow, has a history as a humanitarian volunteer and environmental activism with Greenpeace Russia. She is 24 and has one young child. She played an active role in the trial: cross-examining witnesses and aggressively questioning the nature of the charges and proceeding.

Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, is a computer programmer interested in LBGT issues. She is a graduate of the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia in Moscow.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, is a philosophy student at Moscow State University with a history of political activism with the street-art group Voina. She is married to Pyotr Verzilov, a Russian street and performance artist, known for his provocative political performances. Together they have a 4 year-old daughter.

Lifestyle - Spectacle
by Maria Plaksina | Friday, 10 August 2012


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