Free Pussy Riot

Cast Out Putin

I’m a bit of a stickler for freedom of expression. I just can’t let issues of censorship go without a comment. It’s too easy to let the powers that be go after pornographers or performance artists and say, well, my work is not going to infringe with the authority so I’m okay. Every creative artist, every creative writer, every composer or musician, painter, sculptor or actor, is a canary in the coalmine of culture. If one goes down, we have to look at it as they’ll come for me next.

This is why I have a committed position in support of what the Nazis would term “degenerate art”. My own credo is that if it’s something the Nazis would have hated, then I’m on the right track. Equally, it seems if it’s something Vladimir Putin hates, then we’re on to something good.

Such is the case with Russian Punk Rock band Pussy Riot, who find themselves sentenced to two years in ‘prison camp’ as a result of their political stunt in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral. A lot of people are saying they got what they asked for and that they are undeservering of world attention. I beg to differ. We ca only surmise from the sentence that Russia is still a place with medieval sensibility about performance and art – that they should be things sanctioned by the state and church, never questioning authority. It  is ironic that the Soviet republic was once progressive and modern and would not have had a bar of this kind of reactionary thinking until Stalin seized control. Now we seem to have ‘Putinism’ which is just as reactionary in spirit.

There’s no dressing up the verdict. The women from Pussy Riot are political prisoners f conscience, and thus it is the duty of every creative person to stand in solidarity with them. This injustice is intolerable to all of us who work within freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

And so, this is my little contribution in support of Pussy Riot: Free Pussy Riot

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Filed under General, Rock

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