The avenue has been silent as of late, a random car passing by now and again, tour buses full of bronies and violet-eyed gawkers stopping to visit their favourite shops before departing…
Hope they brought earplugs.
One year ago, a group of musicians from Russia came together in protest against their country’s political life through impromptu performances throughout their native Moscow, culminating with the brief show upon the soleas of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in late February of this year.
Three days ago, three of their members were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred (meaning that, much like Paul Ryan’s love for Rage Against the Machine, the judge and the Russian Orthodox Church only heard what they wanted to hear from the collective’s lyrics).
This week’s “Music Monday” is in honour of Pussy Riot.
The performance that caught the world’s attention, “Holy Mother, Drive Putin Away” stated the case that the separation of church and state was thinning at an alarming rate, and Putin was “as far as can be from God’s truth.” The Russian Orthodox Church believed otherwise, leading to the arrests of Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevitch in March 2012, and subsequent trial and conviction this summer.
The collective’s repertoire consist of six songs and five videos as of this writing, each song illustrating each action taken by the opposition movement that had formed against then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s return to power as the country’s president.
In total, there are 10 performers — all of whom wear brightly coloured dresses, tights and balaclavas no matter the weather — and 15 crew members who film each guerrilla-style performance, with locations ranging from atop a prison garage, Red Square, and high-end boutiques.
The original sentence for the charges levied against the three women would have been seven years in prison. Instead, they were sentenced to just two years to be served in a penal colony, possibly due to feeling the heat of the international spotlight. Nonetheless, criticism has increased, with members of the Orthodoxy, the Kremlin, and Putin’s most vocal supporters all stating that the Pussy Riot trial has damaged Russia’s image before the world.
On the very day the trio were sentenced, the collective released this song entitled “Putin Sets the Fires of Revolution” in response to the entirety of this case, a call to arms to those who believe that Putin is the worst thing that could have ever happened to Russia in ages.