Pussy Riot comes to Parliament!

In August three members of the Russian band Pussy Riot were each imprisoned for two years after being convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for a 40 second performance in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral of a ‘punk prayer’ entitled “Virgin Mary, Chase Putin Out!” At today’s appeal hearing in Moscow, two members of the band had their jail sentences upheld and one was released on a suspended sentence.

This Monday, October 15th, from 7 – 9pm in the Grand Committee Room (off Westminster Hall), the Performers’ Alliance Parliamentary Group and the All-Party Group on Russia will be hosting a debate, “Pussy Riot and the Art of Political Protest”.

The event, which has been organised by Kerry McCarthy MP, shadow Minister for Human Rights, who attended the Pussy Riot trial in Moscow in August, will begin with performances by actresses of the three women’s closing speeches from their trial and a reading from the newly-published anthology “Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot”. This will be followed by a panel debate on the impact of the Pussy Riot trial on Russian politics, and how effective music, art and culture can be as a form of political protest. We will be talking about punk, politics, protest music, feminism, religion and what happens when artists dare to venture into the political arena.

The debate will be chaired by John Robb, musician, journalist, and author of “Punk Rock: An Oral History”.

Panellists will include Chris Bryant MP, chair of the APPG Russia and former Foreign Office Minister; Natalia Koliada, co-founder of the Belarus Free Theatre; Dorian Lynskey, journalist and author of “33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs”; and Joan Smith, feminist author, journalist, and former chair of PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee.

If you are interested in attending, please email Alexanderc@parliament.uk for an invite.

Previous articleThe Jim Jones Revue ‘The Savage Heart’ – album review
Next articleRobert Soko ‘Balkan Beats SoundLab’ – album review
Avatar
Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here