The Art of Activism or Hooliganism

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In a very short space of time, a radical group of young Russian women began a series of harassing behavior that would test the government’s discourse on three essential freedoms American citizens take for granted: speech, assembly, and association. A feminist, punk rock protest group based in Moscow, chose their name Pussy Riot “…because of its intrinsic contrast: ‘pussy’ objectifies women as soft and passive; ‘riot’ is a reaction against that” (Heuvel). Even though, Putin believes that Pussy Riot’s actions are contributing to the destruction of the moral foundation of Russian Society. Pussy Riot should not be sentenced for speaking freely about human rights as they were arrested for performing in a Cathedral, and singing about the relationship between the state and the church. On February 21, 2012, just before the country’s March elections - a group of women dressed in tights, baklavas and dresses, engaged in a protest performance on a platform in front of the alter of Russia’s iconic Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The performance lasted less than a minute before the candle sellers, tourists, and security guards on duty drove them out. The performance was a plea to the Virgin Mary to get rid of Vladimir Putin, they chanted ‘Virgin birth-giver of God, drive away Putin! Drive away Putin, drive away Putin!’ The group’s choreography displayed air punching and performed mock prayers while singing their anti-Putin anthem “Punk Prayer.” The band formed in response to Putin’s decision to return to the presidency. “The band wanted to pursue the ‘art of activism’ by staging creative and unexpected public events” (Petrou). Their performance deliberately encourages society to think about things they do not normally question: gende... ... middle of paper ... ...ntury – it is something out of the tribal societies and dictatorial regimes of the past” (Spiegel). Works Cited Elder, Miriam. "Pussy Riot trial gives Russia 'the image of a medieval dictatorship'." The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 19 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 June 2014. Huevel, Katrina vanden. "Pussy Riot and the Two Russias." The Nation. Nation, 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 June 2014. Kruhly, Madeleine. "The Strange History of Russian Hooliganism." The Atlantic, 24 July 2012. Web. 12 June 2014. Petrou, Michael. "Mad as hell in Moscow." Maclean's, 16 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 June 2014. Rojansky, Matthew, and Nikolas Gvosdev. "The U.S. Should Still Talk to Russia." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 June 2014. Spiegel, Der. "Interview with Pussy Riot Leader: 'I Love Russia, But I Hate Putin'". SPIEGEL ONLINE. 03 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 June 2014.

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