Data + Design Project

Russian Statues Protest for Pussy Riot

Tuesday 08.28.2012 , Posted by
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Earlier this year they were a mostly unknown feminist punk band from Russia… but now they have become an international phenomenon and a wakeup call to the reality of social freedoms in the modern Russian Federation. The group, called Pussy Riot staged an illegal concert on February 21st, on the steps of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

The event began with what was described as a “punk prayer.” 5 members of the group walked up to the alter, shedding their winter clothes and pulling colorful balaclavas over their faces. They then jumped around punching and kicking for about 30 seconds before being stopped by church officials. By that evening the event had been turned into a music video called “Punk Prayer: Holy Mother, Chase Putin Away!,” where they invoked the Virgin Mary to get rid of President Putin using crude language to attack him and Kirill I, the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. After the video was released on March 3rd, three members of the band were arrested for “hooliganism”, and have subsequently been convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Each has been sentenced to two years of imprisonment.

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Not surprisingly, the people of Russia and the world as a whole have made a big noise in opposition of this sentence and the trial in general… especially after allegations of harsh treatment in custody and the potential of 7 years sentences. Protests have been staged and in the case of these images, the protest has gone artistic.

On the day of sentencing activists staged a rally in Moscow in support of the arrested participants of Pussy Riot, placing colorful balaclava over the faces on famous metropolitan monuments, including the statues of poet and author Alexander Pushkin; avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer Natalia Goncharova; and poet, composer and philosopher Abay Qunanbayuli. It was as if these free thinkers had joined the protest themselves.

As you can see… there were more arrests.

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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