• Thu, Aug 16 2012

Video: Peaches And Friends Make Awesome Music Video In Support Of Jailed Feminist Punk Band Pussy Riot

Do you know about jailed Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot? If not, you should! Following their arrest for performing a minute-long anti-Putin protest song in a church, the band has garnered international attention for their brave insistence on using music as a means of political protest, even when all the odds were stacked against them.

Their trial has been long and ridiculous, with the prosecution attempting to paint their demonstration as one motivated by religious hatred and not what it very obviously is: a group of women speaking out against a government they believe to be unjust. The verdict is expected to be handed down tomorrow, and they could get as much as three years in prison, merely for speaking their minds.

The good news, however, is that the trial has galvanized support among free thinkers all over the world, including some very high profile people: Madonna, Bjork, and Paul McCartney have all weighed in, and now the queen of bizarro electro-pop Peaches has contributed an excellent song/video to the cause, which she co-created with Simmone Jones. You might not be able to see them very well, but it features contributions from such excellent folks as The Hives, Lykke Li, Kate Nash, Miike Snow, Margaret Cho and Nick Zinner. It reflects the band’s colorful, D.I.Y., riot grrl-inspired approach to making and presenting music, and reminds me of something Kathleen Hanna said to Pitchfork in response to a question about why she loves Pussy Riot so much:

Activism can take a gazillion different forms. It doesn’t have to be boring. Also, you can mix your activism with your art. There’s been this long-standing divorce that’s happened between activism and art in the United States, where it’s totally a threat if you put politics near art, and people laugh at you. If it’s feminism, they tell you all you’re doing is therapy for yourself. And the inspirational thing about Pussy Riot getting so much attention, and their music being so great and so inspirational, is that it can be fun… besides the jail part.

That’s what’s so bizarre is that when I was originally introduced to their videos, I was like, “Oh my god! They’re mixing their politics with their art, and their art’s actually really good!” And then they’re in jail. It was like being on the top of the mountain and then being dropped off.

Word!

There’s a reading tonight at the Ace Hotel in solidarity with the band if you’re in New York and would like to attend, as well as numerous events tomorrow and this weekend. But if you’re not in New York, feel free to cut some holes in a colorful winter hat and cook up an event of your own, because that’s how riot grrls do.

(Via Rolling Stone)

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