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Female fury

The latest sensation on the Russian underground music scene talks about its songs.

Published: February 1, 2012 (Issue # 1693)



  • Pussy Riot performed a song called Putin Got Scared on Moscows Red Square late last month.
    Photo: PUSSY-RIOT.LIVEJOURNAL.COM

Pussy Riot, a feminist punk collective from Moscow whose members hide their faces behind colored balaclavas, creates waves of protest through its dissident songs and unsanctioned performances which culminated late last month in a brief unauthorized concert on Moscows strictly guarded Red Square.

The group, which performed a freshly penned anti-Kremlin song called Putin Got Scared (Putin Zassal) complete with colored smoke bombs and a purple feminist flag was arrested and, after being held for about five hours in a police precinct, two members were fined 500 rubles (around $17) each. The members were charged with holding an unauthorized rally.

Red Square is symbolically the main place of the country; we believe that it is the place that should be occupied to achieve a real political change, its the equivalent of Tahrir for Russia, Pussy Riot said in an email interview this week.

In an email, a member who calls herself Garadzha Matveyeva said that the group answered the questions collectively just as it writes its songs.

For the Red Square performance, the group chose as its stage Lobnoye Mesto a 13-meter-long stone platform previously used for announcing the tsars ukases as a reference to the historic demonstration of seven Soviet dissidents who came to the site with the slogan For our freedom and yours to protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 25, 1968. The dissidents subsequently spent years in prisons, psychiatric asylums and in exile.

We believe that the Soviet Unions aggressive imperial politics are similar in many ways to Putins course, Pussy Riot said.

The way the state treats its citizens hasnt changed much since the times of the U.S.S.R.; there is still paternalist supervision and police control over people. Secondly, we always try to choose elevated platforms similar to a concert stage so Lobnoye Mesto met our needs in this sense.

Putin Got Scared was inspired by the spontaneous, unsanctioned protests against the rigged State Duma elections in December.

The song was written in the aftermath of the Dec. 5 events and is permeated with the radical mood of protest of that day, when after a 10,000-strong rally on Chistiye Prudy a number of protesters managed to break through the OMON police cordons and around 1,000 marched almost to the Kremlin itself, the group said.

The police were at a loss, they didnt know what to do; they were waiting for orders in astonishment and didnt dare touch the protesters. The orders to detain the demonstrators didnt come until the people had already reached the Kremlin, half an hour after the march had begun. The authorities were frightened.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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