Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:10 am

Russia’s ecological big-leaguers join forces to withstand state’s mounting pressure on environmental NGOs at Bellona’s St. Petersburg conference
by Maria Kaminskaya
Published on September 6, 2010

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ST. PETERSBRUG – More than a dozen representatives of major Russian ecological organisations were brought together by Bellona for the first time to share their difficult experiences and talk out ways of surviving and becoming stronger in a country that is fast becoming a police state. Whatever the hardships, Bellona’s President Frederic Hauge is confident that “the Russian environmental movement has a big future.”

It is the second major rights conference that Bellona has hosted in the last four months wherein Hauge has expressed optimism about the future of civil society organisations in Russia, even amid the looming threats of new rights given to the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB successor organisation and continuing harassment of rights based organisations by the Kremlin. Hauge first iterated this stance at a seminar on Russian human rights in Oslo in June.

Indeed, the last weeks have seen some surprising moves from the Kremlin, specifically president Dmitry Medvedev, regarding the contentious project to build a high speed toll road to St. Petersburg through the Khimki Forest north of Moscow, which has been met by strong opposition from environmentalists and native and international rock stars, including U2, who joined their cause. The strength of the joined movements caused enough of a stir that Medvedev, in a video blog on Kremlin.ru, halted the highway project subject to “further analysis” of alternative routes. Moscow’s powerful mayor, Yury Luzhkov, who has been dismissive of environmental demonstrations, however, stands in opposition to President Medvedev, saying the project will continue through Khimki.

But environmental voices, long suppressed by violence, intimidation and arrests were nonetheless noted and supported in Russia’s highest echelons of power – at least for the time being.

On the other hand, the forest fires that ravaged Russia during record drought and heat waves this summer threatened not only forests, but new radiation challenges as the wildfires ripped through areas affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and heat dried out lakes and rivers – long dumping grounds for radioactive waste – as irradiated sediment became airborne.

At first, Emergency Service Minister Sergei Shoigu warned of such eventualities, only to retract days later and threaten to “deal with” media and internet outlets mapping irradiated areas threatened by fire. In this case, as the Russian Forestry service removed maps of such areas, it was up to the media and activists to keep citizens in the know, and Bellona and other groups worked together to report heavily on the dangers, and independent activists also posted maps of radiation danger areas in the path of the fires on the Russian search engine Yandex.

Where the common fight stands

The “Russian Ecological Movement: Civic Engagement, Information, Security” conference hosted by Bellona’s St. Petersburg branch, the Environmental Rights Center (ERC) Bellona, which took place in St. Petersburg on September 3, gave environmentalists and activists from all over the country a unique opportunity to come together to discuss their experience in fighting to solve Russia’s ecological problems – as well as experience gained by activists abroad – those “pressure points” that authorities so often use to intimidate ecologists in Russia, and what means and strategies are available to make the Russian environmental movement a stronger presence in Russian society.

Intimidation by means of brute force…

That the fight was never going to be an easy one was made evident by the stories that the conference participants shared with each other on this rainy September day in St. Petersburg. Big or small, nation-wide or local, all organisations that once set out to fight ecological injustices in Russia are running the risk of at one point or another causing the displeasure of the authorities, and the forms the harassment takes range from exploiting loopholes in the existing legislation to bogus criminal investigations to outright violence.

Alexander Kolotov’s No Dam! (Plotina.Net), an organisation in Krasnoyarsk Region in Central Siberia, fights against the construction of dams on large Siberian rivers to defend the fragile river ecosystems that may fall prey to the ongoing expansion of hydropower projects in the region. In doing so, No Dam! has caused the wrath of the state-owned company RusHydro, which in the summer of 2009 filed a lawsuit against No Dam! over an earlier article the movement had posted on its website.

“We were accused of being enemies of the people and of working for Western intelligence. [RusHydro] turned to Krasnoyarsk regional security council, accused us of extremism. The wheels of oppression were put into motion, including the participation of the [anti-extremism task force]. They publicly say our letters to stop the construction of a dam in Lower Angara Region are ‘calls to obstruct the lawful activities of bodies of state government’ and that our website is a conduit to the cooperation with media obstructing the state policies of the Russian Federation,’” said Kolotov. “We filed a lawsuit and lost – apparently, RusHydro has the right to call us extremists absent of any court verdict… What helps a lot is that our site is registered abroad and our authorities cannot just call and demand that it be taken down.”

The story of Yevgenia Chirikova, whose campaign to protect the Khimki forest near Moscow from felling and subsequent construction of a highway has recently made headlines worldwide – what started as a local grassroots initiative has turned into a national controversy, culminating in a Bono-featuring rock concert and the order by Russia’s Medvedev to halt the logging pending further decisions – has the same underlying element: Opposing powerful commercial interests that enlist the questionable support of law enforcement agencies.

“Any ecological problem is, first and foremost, that of corruption,” said Chirikova. “When they came to fell the forest, we … found out these were illegal immigrants… who simply ran away when we started yelling. Then the company that had initiated the felling changed the tactics. They hired a private security firm and when we came to the clear-cutting area together with journalists, we found these guys there, in gym shorts, with gold teeth, shaved heads, and tattooed all over. Clearly, ex-cons. We are but frail ecologists… After that, the police stopped coming when we called for help.”

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The stand-off soon escalated into an all-out war when on July 25, the ecologists were attacked by several dozen thugs wearing masks. Following that, SWAT teams arrived and started arresting both activists and journalists, including those from media outlets with national coverage. According to Chirikova, the SWAT teams were especially brutal with women, pulling them by their hair to get them into the police buses.

…harassment at the hands of the special services…

As far as using law enforcement to quell dissent, the Russian Directorate “E” – a newly created agency tasked with combating “extremism” – is becoming one of the more common instruments of intimidation the authorities resort to. And of course, one has to be forever conscious of the risk of running afoul of the FSB, the oldest means of state harassment. Cases are very rare that taking a stand against the powerful agency results in a victory.

In the words of Nadezhda Kutepova, who heads the NGO Planet of Hopes (Planeta Nadezhd) in Ozyorsk, a town in Chelyabinsk Region in the South Urals, her organisation is essentially operating “behind enemy lines.” Ozyorsk is a restricted-access location hosting the Russian spent nuclear fuel reprocessing enterprise Mayak and is frequently cited as the most contaminated place on earth. Environmental activities in this area bear special significance and, Kutepova says, the problem of intimidation by the authorities is an indicator of how effective her organisation’s work must be.

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A weathered radiation sign warning people against swimming in the Techa River. (Photo: Bellona)
Photo: bellona


[? ...] failed… It was extremely difficult when my professional community hadn’t spoken in my defence… when the FSB went after me. Many of my colleagues, when seeing me, would cross the street. I was accused of receiving a grant from the CIA, almost,” Tsepilova said.

An article that was paid for to libel Tsepilova also appeared in the press, and she eventually lost the libel lawsuit she filed against the newspaper.


Olga Tsepilova (born 1958) is a Russian sociologist and senior research fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

She has been studying the social consequences of pollution in Russia, especially in closed nuclear zones like the closed city Ozyorsk in the southern Urals, the site of the infamous Mayak nuclear facility.[1] These studies were not acclaimed by the Federal Security Service (FSB), which has accused her of engaging in espionage.

Tsepilova appeared on Time Magazine's list of "Heroes of the Environment" October 2007.[2]

-- Olga Tsepilova, by Wikipedia




…and sheer cunning

Green World’s Oleg Bodrov from Leningrad Region focused the participants’ attention on some new tricks in the authorities’ bag:

“Our story has it all: unprovoked scrutiny by prosecutors and the tax police, assaults – I once spent a month in the hospital. I’d like to talk about manipulations involving public participation, when the authorities use what are basically front organisations.”

When Green World filed a petition for an environmental impact study on the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, it was told two other NGOs from Moscow had already requested the study and got it
– the maximum number of such requests allowed by law. In both instances, the reports stated the four new reactors under construction at the plant had no environmental impact whatsoever. There is little recourse offered by the law when such avenues as used by Green World are exhausted.

Andrei Rudomakha, whose organisation, the Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus, leads the fight to save the unique nature preserve of the Utrish Forest on the Black Sea from construction of a presidential villa, which would almost definitely kill it, had a similar experience:

“…When the authorities realised they couldn’t win by mere force, they chose a different tactic. They held a public hearing where none of the public activists were let in, but some officials and drug enforcement officers were brought in. And they all gave a green light to everything. Then they basically ‘cut out’ a swath of the preserve’s territory to use for the roads and the villa.”

Sergei Simak, head of the Samara regional branch of the International Socio-Ecological Union, is among the many environmentalists who have lately been finding themselves on the wrong side of the copyright law. Simak’s troubles began when the police acting “on an anonymous tip” seized his computer and charged him with using counterfeit software. Though Simak has exhaustive proof of his innocence, his attempts to get his work materials back have been to no avail.

Galina Kulebyakina from Baikal Ecological Wave and Askhat Kayumov from the Ecological Centre Dront had much the same sad stories to offer. When tax evasion, copyright infringement, or extremism charges are combined with violent raids or late-night home visits by the FSB, finding adequate means of resistance is a challenging task indeed. In the case of Baikal Ecological Wave, that NGO’s activities have been effectively paralysed for six months and the future is uncertain.

What can environmentalists offer in return? The support of the public…

So what to do? Organising public rallies and seeing that the cause is well-known and supported by the population is a powerful tool for making sure neither businesses nor the authorities proceed with environmentally dangerous projects unchecked.

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Photo: Ecodefence

[?...] … Seven of our activists were detained, for 24 hours, but we won all court cases later on,” Podshivalova said.

When the works resumed at the site, absent of any construction permits, Podshivalova’s group organised a blockade and stood day in and day out for two months at the park, preventing the lorries from entering the site. This unwavering resistance finally resulted in a talk with city authorities and at least a permission to restore the park with the locals’ own funds.

…the engagement of local political resources…

In Olga Tsepilova’s experience, forging political affiliations lends certain tangible weight to an environmental movement. Tsepilova’s Green Russia is a faction of Yabloko, one of the oldest liberal parties in Russia.

“…We decided to join Yabloko, which has a [trustworthy history], has voted against the imports of spent nuclear fuel, and has always taken the right position in such issues. We have never regretted this,” said Tsepilova. “Why do people come to us? Because they need a political tribune to voice their problems. Because if they have representation, they have the chance to receive information, attract the citizens’ attention… The party can help in a difficult situation… and use its resources to support environmentalists.”

In Simak’s home town, Samara, a long-ongoing political struggle between regional and city authorities provides for certain manoeuvring space, which is “useful for the public, as you could always ally with one or the other.” That creates some risks, but a number of court cases related to unlawful urban development projects have been won by Simak’s organisation. Simak also advised his fellow environmentalists to diversify their activities as much as possible so as to offer stronger resistance to the attempts to block them.

A similar situation exists in Krasnaya Gorka in Leningrad Region, where Alexander Senotrusov is defending a local nature preserve. Local municipal authorities have devised a scheme by which the public lands of the preserve are transferred as free social aid to disadvantaged beneficiaries, such as the disabled or the elderly. Later, the recipients “waive” their rights to the property and the lands end up in the hands of one owner, free from any encumbrance to be used for commercial gain. The regional government is backing Senotrusov’s cause, and he even has the unlikely support in the military, which used to oversee this territory, but it’s the local municipal authorities that have the right to sell the lands for lucrative projects.

…and the media

Andrei Ozharovsky, an anti-nuclear campaigner who is very active in the Moscow-based organisation Ecodefense!, said one of the tasks – and public services – carried out by activists like him is to inform the general public of problems in the nuclear energy industry.

“We know something, but how do we make sure that everyone knows? The media are not in our hands, but we can use them. Radical actions, those that end in arrests and jackets torn by the police, attract attention. Between a seminar and a rally where the police will tear my jacket in front of TV cameras, I will probably choose the latter. If the repressions are controllable – that is, they don’t lead to serious harm to one’s family, that is a good thing,” Ozharovsky said.

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Photo: Charles Digges/Bellona

Both Chirikova and No Dam!’s Kolotov agreed that the system really tends to succumb to continuous pressure. And one mustn’t be shy to ask for support from the regular people, Chirikova added. Two important means are available to environmentalists in trouble: Publicity and calls for help.

That also means keeping one’s own organisation beyond reproach. Askhat Kayumov’s NGO, the Nizhny Novgorod-based Dront, is a constant target of audits and checks of all kinds.

“As far as the law is concerned, there’s no ‘getting’ us in that regard – since we demand that others obey the law, we ourselves obey all the laws,” Kayumov said. “Keeping all ducks in a row – this is the only way to withstand attacks… An organisation’s established image is what protects it.”

That – and keeping the safety and security of oneself and one’s loved ones in mind when planning one’s activities, according to Nadezhda Kutepova from Planet of Hopes. She suggested even changing one’s looks or changing the address of the office in order to survive when pressure turns to persecution.

Andrei Rudomakha is working on several fronts at once – rallies across 70 Russian cities, letters to the president, four active groups speaking in defence of the Utrish forest in Russia and Ukraine, drawing support from political parties…Though his organisation is being careful about radical protests, in order to avoid extremism charges, the situation around Utrish is gradually changing for the better.

“We can see that the authorities dread mass-scale protests, everything’s starting to change after that,” he said.

The inspiration to overcome the challenges and international support

Indeed, the struggle may not be entirely hopeless even in the face of increasing pressure – as demonstrated by the hard victories ecologists across the globe win despite all kinds of challenges.

Amnesty International’s Russia expert Frederica Behr told the conference’s participants of the experience her organisation gained working in Nigeria – a nation with a more dismal human rights record than that of modern Russia. The global oil giant Shell is quite active in the oil-rich Nigeria, Behr said, and at some point the company came under fire following charges of complicity in the execution of activists who were protesting oil field development projects. Amnesty International launched a campaign of its own, picketing Shell’s offices in different countries and initiating an investigation into what was happening in Nigeria. A year ago, prosecutors in New York finally green-lighted a court case against Shell, Behr said, which led to a $15 million settlement in favour of the families of the killed activists and a change in the policies pursued by Shell, now substantially more open to a dialogue with the public.

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Photo: Bellona

[?...] problems in your country, and you will be opposed and hindered, by the economic and political interests, and by the FSB,” said Hauge. “Of course, we cannot do your work for you, but we are not afraid to help, and we’re proud to be part of the Russian environmental movement. The more problems you experience the stronger you will become… And Bellona will be supporting your fight.”

This article was compiled and translated by Maria Kaminskaya, and Charles Digges contributed reporting. ERC Bellona also contributed reporting.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:17 am

Olga Tsepilova
by Brett Forrest
Time Magazine
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007

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As Olga Tsepilova left a political opposition rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, last April, a member of the special forces police squad descended upon her. With a full overhead swing, he cracked Tsepilova in the face with his nightstick, fracturing her nose and cheekbone, sending her to the hospital for a month.

Tsepilova, 49, a sociologist and senior research fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences, has run afoul of state authority before. In 2004, she hoped to study the social consequences of pollution in Russia by focusing on two closed nuclear zones. One of them, the town of Ozyorsk in the southern Urals, is the site of the infamous Mayak nuclear facility. Now a nuclear-fuel reprocessing plant, Mayak suffered the Soviet Union's largest pre-Chernobyl nuclear accident, an explosion in 1957 that spread radiation over an area of 14,300 sq. mi. (23,000 sq km). Scientists say the area has never been adequately decontaminated.

The local administration in Ozyorsk approved her research visit, but Tsepilova says the Federal Security Service (FSB) then summoned her to its St. Petersburg office, rescinded the permission and accused her of engaging in espionage. Soon after, says Tsepilova, FSB agents staked out her apartment building. The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, noting that the U.S.'s National Endowment for Democracy provided some of Tsepilova's funding, labeled her research project a "spying scandal."

"Ozyorsk is the most polluted city in the world," Tsepilova says. "These problems are not being solved. This has only spurred me on."

Far from improving the situation at Mayak and other troubled sites, the Federal Atomic Energy Agency has been importing waste from foreign countries, turning nuclear sites in the Urals and elsewhere into what Greenpeace says are some of the world's largest nuclear dumps. To help lift the veil of nuclear secrecy that has persisted since the Soviet Union's disintegration, Tsepilova has joined the liberal opposition Yabloko party as head of its green wing, and is running in December's election for the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament. "I'm persona non grata for all nuclear sites," she says. "But if I'm in the Duma, I can address environmental issues."

Tsepilova says she doesn't think the police targeted her specifically in the April march, but the incident only galvanized her to further action. Upon leaving the hospital, she gave an environmental speech at an opposition rally. The attack "hasn't weakened my political activity," she says defiantly. "I am a very brave person."
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:45 am

Enemies of the State: Pussy Riot and the New Russian Protest Rock
by National Endowment for Democracy
Part of IERES’ Behind the Headlines Series, Co-sponsored with the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies with Artem Troitsky, Moscow State University
February 19, 2013

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ABOUT THE EVENT

After a decade of President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule in which civil society seemed to be comatose, a new protest movement is growing in Russia. Infuriated by electoral fraud and galloping corruption, the so-called “creative class” is fighting back by means of music, poetry, multi-media, and daring art performances. In this presentation, Artem Troitsky gave a firsthand account of the situation.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Artem Troitsky is the first, and best known, Russian rock journalist, author of Back in the USSR: The True Story of Rock in Russia and Tusovka: Whatever Happened to the Soviet Underground Culture. He currently teaches in the Journalism Department of Moscow State University, hosts TV and radio shows (including on Ekho Moskvy), writes for Novaya gazeta, is a member of the board of Greenpeace Russia, and is a well-known blogger and opposition activist.

Maria Vladimirovna "Masha" Alyokhina has been involved in environmental activism with Greenpeace Russia, opposing development projects in the Khimki Forest...

-- Maria Alyokhina, by Wikipedia


RELATED READING

Read “Putin and Russia’s Crippled Media,” co-authored by Christopher Walker and Robert Orttung in the February 21, 2013 edition of Russian Analytical Digest.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:23 am

Western media concealing facts about female rock band’s desecration of Russian cathedral
by Matthew Hoffman
LifeSiteNews.com
Wed Aug 8, 2012 - 7:16 pm EST

Pussy Riot Punk Prayer

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St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
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Drive away! Drive away Putin!
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Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners are crawling and bowing
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The ghost of freedom is in heaven
Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains
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The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
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In order not to offend the Holy Women have to give birth and to love
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Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
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Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
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Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
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St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist
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Become a feminist, Become a feminist
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Church praises the rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
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In school you are going to meet with a teacher-preacher
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Go to class -- bring him money!
Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, you better believe in God
Belt of the Virgin is no substitute for mass-meetings
In protest of our Ever-Virgin Mary!
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Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
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Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!
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The Russian punk rock band “Pussy Riot,” currently on trial for desecrating Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, is being elevated by Western elites and media outlets to the status of a human rights icon.

Time magazine describes the trial as “A Kangaroo Court Goes on a Witch Hunt,” while Britain’s Guardian newspaper quotes supporters comparing group leader Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to Simone de Beauvoir. The Obama administration says it is “deeply concerned” about what it calls a “politically-motivated prosecution,” and the pro-abortion “human rights” group Amnesty International claims the trio are “prisoners of conscience.” Madonna Ciccone and other American pop stars and celebrities have characterized the girls as “heroes” and are demanding their release.

However, those same sources are giving a very truncated version of what the trio of girls actually did when they entered Russia’s most revered church, for what the band members claimed was merely a political protest against the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The three women, all in their twenties, are being prosecuted for barging into the Cathedral’s most sacred space, the sanctuary that contains the altar, where they performed a high-kicking dance, sang an expletive-laden song, and engaged in mockery of worship. A video of their antics, with an English translation of the lyrics, can be found here (warning: offensive content).

Western media accounts typically quote only one phrase from the song sung by the trio, “St. Mary, virgin, drive away Putin,” giving the impression that the song was nothing more than an outcry against the Russian leader. However, an English translation of the full lyrics obtained by LifeSiteNews.com indicate that the girls had more than just electoral politics in mind.

In addition to their mockery of Orthodox worship, the girls derided the “Black robe, golden epaulettes,” of Orthodox clergy, and mocked the “crawling and bowing” of the parishioners. They then added a barb against the Orthodox Church’s defense of public morality, stating, “The ghost of freedom is in heaven, Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains.”

According to at least one source, their activities included mock religious ceremonies and partaking in meals containing dishes like "Holy Ghost Pie", "Breast of Venus", and "Devil's Loin", while drinking "Hell-fire punch". Members of the Club supposedly came to meetings dressed as characters from the Bible.

-- Hellfire Club, Wikipedia


“The head of the KGB is their chief saint,” continue the girls, in reference to Putin’s former position under the Soviet regime.

They then sing a stanza associating the sacred with feces, followed by another stanza objecting to perceived support of the Putin administration by leaders of Orthodoxy, then another stating “Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin,” adding “B**ch, you better believe in God.”

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[Alyokhina Maria Vladimorivna] The Punk prayer as it is now is much more PC, both lyrics-wise and action-wise.

-- Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials, produced, written and directed by Evgeny Mitta


“Pussy Riot” members’ little-known history of obscene “protests”

Another aspect of the story that has been left virtually unreported by Western media outlets is the association of “Pussy Riot” and its members with other obscene displays calculated to provoke moral offense and outrage.

In 2008, band members entered Moscow’s Museum of Biology in order to engage in a “fertility rite” protest against the election of Dmitry Medvedev as the country’s president. “Pussy Riot” member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and her husband removed their clothes and engaged in public sex in the museum, while others took photos of the incident and posted them on the Internet.


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Maria Alekhina, another member, has released a video of the group in which she enters a supermarket and masturbates using a chicken leg, according to an uncharacteristically frank article by the Associated Press. In another recent stunt, the group hung a drawing of a huge phallus on a St. Petersburg drawbridge, the agency reports in the same article.

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The group’s repeated acts of calculated provocation against Russian religious and moral sensibilities have created an impression of the band in their home country that differs dramatically from the sympathetic portrayal produced for Western consumers.

While America’s pop culture royalty and media establishment fawn over the jailed trio, Russian performers have been loath to associate themselves with their cause, including the nation’s two biggest rock stars, Zemfira and Mumiy Troll. Some, like the star singer Elena Vaenga, have even denounced them publicly, stating, “I’ll personally drink to the health of the judge who’ll slap them with some jail time.”

Even sympathetic Russian journalist Michael Idov admits in a recent article for the New York Times that “the hometown opinion on Pussy Riot is mixed at best. Even the liberal response has involved language like ‘They should let these chicks go with a slap on the ass.’”

Religious persecution from Russia’s liberals?

Alexander Shchipkov, chairman of the Club of Orthodox Christian Journalists, whom the Voice of Russia characterizes as “a prominent blogger who had to pay dearly for his religious beliefs back in the Soviet times,” regards the group’s cathedral “protest” as a “a cold, bloodless terrorist act.”

“The people who stand behind Pussy Riot want the church to adopt a secular system of values – moral relativism, ecumenism, political correctness and other rules of consumer society. The church will never agree to this kind of ‘secular Reformation,’” Shchipkov added, according to the Voice of Russia.

Dr. Igor Beloborodov, director of Russia’s Demographic Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews in an email interview that “Pussy Riot” has “repeatedly insulted the feelings of believers” in Russia, and is actively engaged in promoting an anti-family, anti-Christian agenda.

“Few people know that their aggressive actions have taken place under the slogans of the LGBT community,” wrote Beloborodov. “They have repeatedly stated in their comments that these actions are directed not only against the Orthodox Church and orthodox believers, but also in solidarity with sexual minorities, which in their opinion, are not supported by the Russian authorities.”

“They chose the church as a target for attack, as Orthodox priests are actively supporting the traditional family and the telling of truth about homosexuality,” he continued. “Obviously, in the spread of the ‘culture of death’ this group and all of their actions are a well-planned social project to discredit the church and the destruction of the natural family.”

“That is why today the anti-Christian lobby is expending huge resources in order to present this group as ‘martyrs.’ In fact we are dealing with dangerous anti-moral ‘terrorists’ fighting against society, churches and our children,” he added.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:23 am

‘Free Pussy Riot’ wave of anti-Christian attacks sweeps Russia
by Matthew Hoffman
LifeSiteNews.com
August 30, 2012

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Pussy Riot topless protest: FEMEN activist takes chainsaw to cross

Russia and other European countries are suffering a wave of anti-Christian attacks and disruptive protests in the wake of the conviction of the Russian punk band “Pussy Riot,” including the destruction of crosses commemorating the Christian victims of communism, an attack on the Russian Patriarch, and the theft of relics from the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr in St. Petersburg.

In Russia the violence seemed to have claimed two lives on Wednesday, when a mother and daughter were found stabbed to death in their apartment, with “Free! Pussy Riot” scrawled on the wall in their blood. However, following the apprehension of a suspect who confessed to the crime, police say that the slogan was only a diversionary tactic by the perpetrator who was the boyfriend of the daughter.

In toto, five Orthodox crosses have been destroyed in recent weeks, including the chainsawing of a large wooden cross in Kiev, Ukraine, by a bare-chested woman from the the pro-abortion, homosexualist group “FEMEN,” and four anonymously destroyed in Russia. The Kiev cross and at least one of the four Russian crosses were erected to commemorate the murder of Christians by the region’s communist regimes.

A bare-chested FEMEN protester also attacked Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in July, with the words “Kill Kirill!” written on her body.

“Free Pussy Riot” protesters have even taken their disruptive “protests” to the Catholic church in western Europe, where a trio dressed up like the punk band was arrested after disrupting mass in Cologne cathedral. The incident follows another in 2011 when a FEMEN member was arrested in St. Peter’s square for removing her shirt and shouting anti-Catholic slogans in protest of the Church’s condemnation of abortion and homosexual behavior.

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In what may be a related attack, several relics were stolen on Thursday from the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr, as well as a communion chalice and five neck crosses, according to local police, the Moscow Times reported.

Defenders of the Russian Orthodox Church have responded to the attacks by calling for the creation of Orthodox Squads to protect churches from desecrating behavior. Russia Today reports that the proposal is supported by Russian Orthodox and Muslim officials, while the country’s human rights ombudsman has denounced it.

In what may be a related counterattack, Orthodox protesters attacked Moscow’s “Erotic Art” museum yesterday with bricks in their hands, according to a report by Interfax, which cited the museum’s director Alexander Donskoy. Donskoy called for an investigation.







A recent poll has found that a majority of Russians, 53 percent, believe that the sentence meted out to the “Pussy Riot” trio was “fair,” as opposed to 27 percent who said that it is “not fair.”
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:04 am

She’s in Pussy Riot. He’s on the Far Right: How Maria Alyokhina and Dmitry Enteo Fell in Love. Maria Alyokhina and Dmitry Enteo couldn’t seem more different: she a committed feminist activist, he the leader of a far right activist movement. She reveals how they got together.
by Lizzie Crocker
10.16.17 9:00 PM ET

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“He’s kind of a homophobe,” Alyokhina says of Enteo ... “He’s against gay propaganda activists,” the friend tells me.… known for beating up gay people during Pride rallies ...
when Pussy Riot was on trial in 2013, Enteo and other members of “God’s Will” gathered outside Russia’s Ministry of Justice and called for Pussy Riot to be imprisoned…. [and] campaigned to criminalize “offending religious feelings” in response to Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer.

-- She’s in Pussy Riot. He’s on the Far Right: How Maria Alyokhina and Dmitry Enteo Fell in Love, by Lizzie Crocker


Members of God’s Will, a Christian group led by self-proclaimed missionary Dmitry “Enteo” Tsorionov, vandalised the Sculptures We Don’t See exhibit at the Manezh, a vast exhibition space next to Red Square…. During the attack activists shouted that the works on display were offensive to people of faith and violated legislation introduced to deter protests such as that carried out by Pussy Riot in Moscow’s main cathedral in 2012.… one of the activists rips a linoleum engraving of a naked Christ made by Vadim Sidur, known as the Soviet Henry Moore, off its plinth. She then throws it on the floor and stamps on it....The group’s leader Enteo targeted a work by another artist, Megasoma Mars. This sculpture was titled Beheading of St John the Baptist #2 and comprised a series of heads displayed on plates. Enteo seized one of the heads and smashed the plate it had been on....“Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary are being mocked. This is punishable under the criminal code.”... During the Franz Kafka and George Orwell Intellectual Forum, a group of activists rushed into the open-air venue shouting: “We are patriots of Russia and you have sold yourselves to the US State Department,” and threatened to burn everything there, a witness of the incident wrote on Facebook.

-- Rightwing Russian activists attack Moscow art exhibition: Conservative Christian group takes offence over sculpture show depicting naked Christ and heads of John the Baptist, The Moscow Times reports, by Ivan Nechepurenko and Michele Berdy


In front of the Moscow Art Theater, a severed pig's head sat in silent protest, the words "To Tabakov" scrawled in black ink across its clammy forehead. Around the shrine, on April 1, 2015, Dmitry Enteo and the members of God's Will, his Russian Orthodox activist group, shouted anti-blasphemy slogans and theatrically crossed themselves …in addition to throwing pig heads and interrupting theater performances, some of his more colorful transgressions include tossing eggs at members of Marilyn Manson's band before a 2014 performance in Moscow... With the law on their side, these young religious fanatics have made a habit of intimidating promoters, showing up to protest concerts, phoning in bomb threats, and threatening to call the Federal Migration Service to tamper with musicians' visas, all in service of their goal to rid Russia of these "satanic" elements.... in his bio, [Enteo] aligns himself with the "God's Will movement, orthodox christian, right-wing, conservative, pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun, creationism, anti-communism, fusionism" and broadcasts his views on religion and politics, his admiration for failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and his own exploits to more than 50,000 followers.... he's like an ultra pious Russian equivalent of Milo Yiannopoulos.

-- The Devil's Right Hand, by Kim Kelly


After the organizing team had left, a group of about ten people, among whom were the deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Vitaly Milonov, radical Orthodox activists Anatoly Aryukh and Dmitry Enteo (Tsorionov) attempted to break into the art-space “Freedom.” Vitaly Milonov was making offensive statements. Approximately at 7:30 PM during the opening ceremony of “QueerFest,” a group of more than 10 people attempted to enter the new venue. Vitaly Milonov, Anatoliy Artyukh, Mihail Kuzmin, Dmitriy Enteo (Tsorionov) and Timur Isaev (Bulatov) were in that group. Security guards stopped these people from entering the venue, and the members of this group shouted out several insults. Then the doors were closed. Homophobic activists began to pour water on the security guards, as well as green antiseptic liquid on the attendants of the vent. The latter was poured through the holes between doors with syringes and hit people’s clothes and faces. Then the homophobic activists closed the doors from the outside, placing a metal hanging lock on them. After approximately half an hour, the same people attempted to enter the room through a different door. Guards prevented them from entering, and again they began to pour green dye on people through syringes. In addition they spread a pungently odorous substance through the cracks between doors. As a result, many participants of “QueerFest” began to feel unwell, but were unable to leave due to the fact that one of the doors was closed from the outside and aggressive homophobic activists were standing near the other. Some people who attempted to leave the venue were assaulted by homophobic activists; the aide of deputy Milonov punched one of the participants, Alexey Poskrebyshev, in the face.

-- Report on Monitoring of Incidents of Discrimination and Violence on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in 2014, by Coming Out, LGBT Group


We’re at La MaMa Theatre in New York’s East Village, where the famous Russian dissident and activist Maria Alyokhina is rehearsing for her performance in Burning Doors, a touring protest play with the underground Belarus Free Theatre.

It’s nearly 11 a.m. when we meet.

But Masha, as she is known, is bleary-eyed and unfocused. She’d just woke to a media firestorm in Russia over her romantic relationship with Dmitry Enteo, founder of a far-right activist movement called “God’s Will.”

The ultra-religious Orthodox group had recently expelled Enteo because of his relationship with Alyokhina. But few details had emerged until Alyokhina arrived in New York, when one independent Russian publication ran a bombshell feature detailing the unlikely love affair between a culture-policing Christian extremist and a blasphemous Pussy Rioter.

“He’s kind of a homophobe,” Alyokhina says of Enteo, smiling nervously and dragging on a cigarette outside the theater. Then she takes it back—“Actually he’s not a homophobe, he’s OK with LGBT people”—and looks for affirmation from another touring performer in Burning Doors who’s joined us.

“He’s against gay propaganda activists,” the friend tells me.

The smile falls from Alyokhina’s face.

“What does this mean, ‘propaganda activists?’” she asks.

On July 26, 2014, during the Gay Pride on Mars Field, activist Yevgeny Pirozhkov pulled out a sign stating, “Sodomy is sweeter than honey.” A few minutes later police officers approached him and demanded that he remove the sign because the inscription on it was promoting non-traditional sexual relations. When Priozhkov refused to remove the sign, the police officers appealed to the activists responsible for safety of participants with the request to prevent provocation. Pirozhkov still did not remove the sign. The police detained Pirozhkov and took him to police department number 78, where a report accusing him of the administrative misconduct was made. According to the report, Pirozhkov had “committed an administrative offense under part 1 article 6.21 of the CoAO RF”, specifically by “propagating non-traditional sexual orientation among minors, expressed through the dissemination of information, intended to form non-traditional sexual attitudes and to generate interest in such relationships in minors.”

-- Report on Monitoring of Incidents of Discrimination and Violence on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in 2014, by Coming Out, LGBT Group


“For example what he said about LGBT flags—” her friend starts to reply but Alyokhina interjects in Russian. They go back and forth for a minute or so.

“It’s complicated,” Alyokhina tells me, as if to translate, then heads inside for rehearsal.


I won’t realize just how complicated it is until late that night, when a Russian-speaking colleague sends me the article about Alyokhina’s controversial romance.

“It’s not easy to show this fight, to show what freedom means”


In 2012, 23-year-old Alyokhina and other members of feminist art collective Pussy Riot were arrested when they donned colorful balaclavas and shouted for the Virgin Mary to “drive away Putin!” inside Moscow’s biggest cathedral.

Their guerrilla Punk Prayer performance lasted roughly 40 seconds before security guards chased them from the church. Pussy Riot stressed that Punk Prayer was an anti-Kremlin political protest against the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the Russian Orthodox bishop campaigning for Putin in the presidential race.

But that didn’t stop a judge from convicting them of “hooliganism based on religious hatred,” arguing that they’d made “emphatically vulgar” gestures in the church and had “offended the feelings of religious believer[s].”

When Alyokhina and fellow Pussy Rioter Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova were released from jail in a flurry of media attention, Tolokonnikova was often described as the pretty one.

But with her intense blue eyes, impish smile, and wry sense of humor, Alyokhina is bewitching and seductive, even when (or perhaps because) she’s defiant and aloof. It’s hard not to be intimidated by her candor, which can come off as blunt and frosty. But she’s mostly warm and is a good listener who’s genuinely interested in what other people have to say.

After our morning interview was cut short, Alyokhina suggested we chat again later that night (“I’m not a morning person”) over dinner at a Japanese restaurant near her East Village hotel.

Alyokhina is dressed in all black, as she was that morning, her wavy blond hair tucked under a black beret. She is petite and muscular, with a raspy voice and elf-like features.

During dinner we talk mostly about Burning Doors, which tells the stories of three political prisoners: Alyokhina, who appears as herself; Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker who is serving a 20-year sentence in Russian prison, and Petr Pavlensky, whose 2015 protest performance—dousing the entrance to FSB headquarters in gasoline and setting it on fire—inspired the play’s title.

“All of our stories are about artistic resistance, but Oleg’s is hardest to watch because he was tortured during investigation,” Alyokhina tells me in her heavily-accented English. “It’s cruelty theater,” she adds, skeptically examining a few shriveled figs (“What is this?”) inside her seaweed-wrapped rice ball.

Alyokhina’s story draws on the two years she spent in a Russian penal colony, including five months in solitary confinement, and addresses the brutal realities of life in Russia’s modern gulag.

For Alyokhina, this included being routinely stripped naked and searched, forced to squat while guards in her all-women prison accused her of hiding something “up there.” She was also taunted by a cruel prison doctor during graphic gynecological exams.

“She was one of those people who think they have absolute power,” Alyokhina says of the doctor. “Fascism can have totally different forms. The problem is not that she or other prison workers are bad people, it’s that they’ve become a function of the system. When you delegate your right of choice to the system, you start to forget that you have freedom. Your only purpose for existing is to be a function.”

It’s a physically and psychologically exhausting performance for Alyokhina, but she is fearless—even when having her head repeatedly plunged under water as she recites poetry.

It’s hard not to feel anxious watching her be submerged for increasingly long periods: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and so on. I began wondering whether her head was fully under water. There had to be some sort of stage trickery that allowed her to breathe?

Alyokhina laughs when I mention this at dinner: There was no trickery. For her, this scene was one of the most important parts of her performance.

“We are showing freedom, and freedom does not exist if you’re not fighting for it,” she says. “But it’s not easy to show this fight, to show what freedom means. It’s not possible to dive into water in prison, because you are always in the ground.”

Much of the play’s Russian dialogue is subtitled in English and projected on stage, but this scene is an exception. “I’m talking about how hard it is for me to breathe,” Alyokhina explains.

It’s been a year since the Belarus Free Theatre company staged their first performance of Burning Doors in London. They’ve since taken the show to Germany, Australia, Finland, and now New York.

“I wanted to convey things to the audience about my experience that hadn’t been revealed in public before,” says Alyokhina. “But it’s not just about showing that experience. It’s about repeating it again and again, except I’m not reliving it on my own this time. I’m sharing it. This is the whole point of the show.”

She pauses.

“I learned in prison that a lot of people don’t believe in words. They only believe in the power of example.”

Alyokhina declines to talk much about her "friendship" with Enteo, as she prefers to call it, which hadn’t been revealed in English media at this point. She shakes her head emphatically.

“No, thank god! This will be…” she trails off, then mimics the sound of an exploding bomb. She promises to email me a link to the article and says good night.


“I wanted to understand the leader of a movement that wanted to put us in jail”


Alyokhina never sent me the story. But when I tell her the next day that I’ve read it, she asks to meet in person again, after the New York premiere of Burning Doors that night.

I remind her of what she’d said the night before about believing in the power of example. What are we to make of her relationship with Enteo, then, given his strong ties to an activist group known for beating up gay people during Pride rallies?

“He hasn’t been doing [homophobic] actions with that movement for a year now,” Alyokhina says. “I think he has problem with Gay Pride parades,” she allows, “but not with gays and lesbians.”

This reporter replied, “The first day we met you said he was a homophobe.”

“He’s not a homophobe,” says Alyokhina. “Ask Olga, who is quoted in the article. She has spent nine months together with us. He’s not about protecting the patriarchy at all. Totally not, and I’m sure of this.”

Alyokhina didn’t know about Enteo’s background when she first met him, briefly, at a party in October 2016, though her friend told her about his movement before introducing them.

“I shook his hand and that was it,” she says. Afterward, he began sending her messages on Twitter and asking her to hang out. Finally, in December 2016, she agreed to meet again and invited him to her apartment.

“I wanted to understand the leader of a movement that wanted to put us in jail,” she says.

Indeed, when Pussy Riot was on trial in 2013, Enteo and other members of “God’s Will” gathered outside Russia’s Ministry of Justice and called for Pussy Riot to be imprisoned. “God’s Will” was a little-known movement before 2013, when they campaigned to criminalize “offending religious feelings” in response to Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer.

They successfully convinced Putin to sign their legislation into a law that carries up to a year in prison, though it doesn’t clearly specify what qualifies as offense.

The night Enteo went to Alyokhina’s, they spent five hours talking and watching videos of the activist work that he’d done.

“He was quite happy to talk about himself,” she says with a grin, admitting that she thought he was “quite funny.”

“There were some hard moments for me, because if someone is showing such videos with pride, well…”

She stubs her cigarette and goes on: “I believe that there is a reason for hatred, and if we want to push away hatred we should understand the reason why it’s happening and show that there’s another side. I’m from the other side, and I’ve showed the reality that things can be different.”

When he asked her to celebrate New Year’s Eve with him, she suggested they go to a bridge, steps from the Kremlin, where opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot to death in 2015.

Enteo accompanied her and brought flowers to leave on the bridge that night. Later in January, Alyokhina invited Enteo to an annual anti-fascist rally that he and other “God’s Will” members tried to break up in previous years. But with Alyokhina, he came as a protester himself. He also came to a presentation of her new book, Riot Days, and to see her perform in Burning Doors.

But Alyokhina rolls her eyes when asked about when they started dating and whether she was attracted to him from the beginning.

“I’m not going to talk about the first time we had sex,” she says firmly, trying not to smile. “Pure. No.”

She declines to answer if she’s in love with him (“I do not use this word because if you use it so much it becomes empty.”) Asked if she tells him that she loves him, she laughs: “I mean I’m speaking about him, so this means something.

“But it’s more interesting than that, the whole relationship—” she winces. “I hate that word ‘relationship.’ I don’t understand this need to mark and define everything.”

“I’m not interested in forcing him to change”


Whatever they are, how does she reconcile with the fact that Enteo is ideologically opposed to everything she’s fought for in the last five years? How does she expect Pussy Riot fans to reconcile with her lover’s opposition to feminism?

And even if Enteo is no longer destroying art that his movement deems Satanic or culturally deviant, does she really think he’s changed much in the nine months since they first connected?

“I’m not interested in forcing him to change,” Alyokhina says. “Inviting someone to an anti-fascist rally isn’t telling them to change how they think. It’s introducing them to another perspective. For me, it’s important to show, not tell. And then the person can choose.


“Because often people just don’t understand the mechanism of this revolution that the opposition wants, because they don’t know how to change. It’s important that I show how it’s possible. After that, everything else is his choice, not mine.”

She cares that fans of Pussy Riot know she's fighting for freedom of artistic expression. Her relationship with Enteo does not mitigate the years she's devoted to political activism and affecting change in Russia.

Does she see herself having children with Enteo? Does she envision a future together?

For the first time, Alyokhina looks incredulous, even horrified—and understandably so.

“What future can we talk about? What future? We are living in a country where one of our friends was just beaten in the head with a metal stick. There’s not a complicated construction of the future in my life. Pussy Riot exists when it’s doing protest art. You do, and you exist. That’s it.”

Burning Doors is at La MaMa, 66 East 4th Street, NYC, until Oct. 22. Book tickets here.

Additional Reporting by Katie Zavadski
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:25 am

Pussy Riot's Masha Alyokhina on Putin, Trump and Brexit: 'It's useless to be afraid'. Set to headline Australia’s Dark Mofo in Hobart, the activist speaks about imprisonment, fear and discovering her son is ‘violating the regime’ of school
by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
Tue 9 May 2017 20.16 EDT Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 06.04 EST

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KING: Prince Bandar, do you know the bin Laden family?

PRINCE BANDAR: I do very well.

KING: What are they like?

PRINCE BANDAR: They're really lovely human beings. He is the only one. I never -- I don't know him well. I met him only once. The rest of them are well-educated, successful businessmen, involved in a lot of charities. It is -- it is tragic. I feel pain for them, because he's caused them a lot of pain.

KING: What was the circumstance under which you met him?

PRINCE BANDAR: This is ironic. In the mid-'80s, if you remember, we and the United -- Saudi Arabia and the United States were supporting the Mujahideen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets. He came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, he said the communists.

Isn't it ironic?

KING: How ironic. In other words, he came to thank you for helping bring America to help him.

PRINCE BANDAR: Right.

KING: And now he may be responsible for bombing Americans.

PRINCE BANDAR: Absolutely.

KING: What did you make of him he when you met him?

PRINCE BANDAR: I was not impressed, to be honest with you.

KING: Not impressed?

PRINCE BANDAR: No, he was -- I thought he was simple and very quiet guy. But I don't think he has the capacity to do what he has done now. I think there are people around him who are the brains...

KING: Oh, really?

PRINCE BANDAR: Absolutely.

KING: He's just sort of the leader type?

PRINCE BANDAR: I think he's the charismatic leader, being used for that.

-- America's New War: Responding to Terrorism, by Larry King Live


Image
Pussy Riot’s Masha Alyokhina, who was imprisoned in Russia for two years for protests against Putin, is coming to Dark Mofo in Tasmania. Photograph: Alexander Sofeev

“Are you able to keep calling her later today or late tonight?” Maria Alyokhina’s representative asks me, panicked. “Or could you try any other day? In fact,” he adds woefully, “any scheduled interview with Masha is a risky idea.”

I receive the harried message just before I am due to speak to Alyokhina, the balaclava-wearing, punk-spouting Pussy Riot activist. It’s well past mid-morning. But Masha, as she is known, is asleep.

When I finally get through it’s after midnight in Moscow. Alyokhina is all apologies. “I just have no idea how I didn’t hear these hundreds of alarms.”

I first met Alyokhina in London last summer for the premiere of her production Burning Doors. It’s hard not to like her. In person, she’s warm and candid, with a wry, wicked sense of humour and elfin looks. Yet talking to her again, it strikes me now, as it did then, that she is strung with steel. This is a woman who doesn’t change herself for anything or anyone. That includes sleeping habits.

As one of the most famous faces of the Russian activist movement, at least she has an excuse. Since Alyokhina was released from jail in a flurry of media attention in 2013, life has been busy. The punk-feminist singer now travels the world performing anti-Putin songs, acting in anti-Putin plays, and giving anti-Putin talks -– a job all the more pressing since Trump, stained with implications of Russian interference in the US election, came to power.

Now Alyokhina is travelling to Australia with Pussy Riot’s Alexandra Lukyanova, also known as Sasha Bogino, to appear at Hobart’s Dark Mofo festival in June for a Q&A with Alexander Cheparukhin, and a DJ set. She’s also releasing her debut book, Riot Days, in September: an account of her arrest and abuse at the hands of the Russian state.

Trump and Putin have much in common, but it is more important to remember what we have in common

-- Masha Alyokhina


“It’s Pussy Riot’s story, my story, Russia’s story,” she tells me. “It’s a story of choice. I wrote it because I think that I believe there are no heroes, and every person has a story to tell and I wanted to show that anyone can be Pussy Riot.”

Alyokhina, 28, is an advocate of standing up and being heard -– even at the cost of individual freedom. In her case, punishments in her near two-year stint in jail included brutal and humiliating gynaecological examinations (inmates called it “to be let through the chair”) and five months in solitary confinement.

“[In jail] how they keep the power? People work for 20 hours per day, the food is rotten, there is a thousand prisoners. How they stop the protesting?” she asks in accented English. “Very simple. They say if you will strike our regime, we will put you in solitary confinement. They call it prison inside prison. What they don’t realise is that it doesn’t matter what is around you. Where you keep your freedom is inside you.”

Image
‘Anyone can be Pussy Riot’: Pussy Riot stage a protest at Red Square in Russia. Photograph: Alexander Sofeev

Still, imprisonment took its toll -– not least for Alyokhina’s son Filip, who was just five when she was arrested. (Alyokhina is close to Filip’s father, but won’t define their relationship, saying “we are not about marriage”). Originally she was barred from seeing Filip altogether. When he was allowed to visit, after four or five months, it was in a supervised room, with mother and child separated by a thick sheet of glass. The only way to talk was via telephone. “That was one of the hardest and painful moments I think during the whole sentence,” she says.

It isn’t only in Russia, though, where activists need to be counted. Trump and Brexit, she insists, are “a wake-up call. The main thing about my fight is to overcome the indifference of people.”

Recent movements across the world strike Alyokhina as dangerous. “It’s a very short way from democracy, where you have elections and a chance to choose –- [for] example like Russia, where you lose this opportunity very fast. It takes just several years to take everything away – destroying is always faster than building.”

“Trump -– it is not just a political leader, but a symptom,” she adds. “I am sure that Trump and Putin have much in common, but it is more important to remember what we have in common –- in the community of those who disagree with them.”

So does Alyokhina feel fear? For herself and her family in a country where anti-Kremlin journalists, members of the political opposition, and dissidents are routinely imprisoned or killed? “No, I’m not afraid,” she insists. “I think it’s useless to be afraid, actually … I believe that when you do things, when you decide an action, any fear goes away because action is stronger than fear.”

Back in Moscow there are more mundane problems to worry about. Alyokhina has to go and visit the school administration because her son, who turns 10 this month, has “built some kind of a gang. I receive call from school and they say he is violating the regime”. She laughs. Then sounds perplexed. “It’s really funny to hear these words but the reality [is] I don’t know what to do.”

At the very least, she reasons, she can lead by example. Growing up, Alyokhina, whose parents were mathematicians (her father was an academic), remembers asking what they did to fight repression in 1970s Russia. “They didn’t have an answer,” she says. “I know that my son will be 20 or 25 someday and he will ask me, as well, what I was doing. And I want to have an answer.”
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:45 pm

Zeitgeist
by Bruce Sterling
July 31, 2001

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image

It’s 1999, and in the Turkish half of Cyprus, the ever-enterprising Leggy Starlitz has alighted — pausing on his mission to storm the Third World with the G-7 girls, the cheapest, phoniest all-girl rock group ever to wear Wonderbras and spandex.

His market is staring him in the face: millions of teenagers trapped in a world of mullahs and mosques, all ready to blow their pocket change on G-7’s massive merchandising campaign — and to wildly anticipate music the band will never release.


Leggy’s brilliant plan means doing business with some of the world’s most dangerous people. Among these thieves, schemers, and killers, he must act quickly and decisively. Y2K is just around the corner — and the only rule to live by is that the whole scheme stops before the year 2000.

But Leggy’s G-7 Zeitgeist is in serious jeopardy, for in Istanbul his former partners are getting restless — and the G-7 girls are beginning to die....
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:35 pm

Dmitri Prigov
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/10/18

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Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov
Native name Дмитрий Александрович Пригов
Born 5 November 1940
Moscow, Soviet Union
Died 16 July 2007 (aged 66)
Moscow, Russian Federation
Occupation Writer, artist
Nationality Russian
Citizenship Soviet Union (1940–1991) → Russian Federation (1991–2007)

Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov (Russian: Дми́трий Алекса́ндрович При́гов, 5 November 1940 in Moscow – 16 July 2007 in Moscow[1]) was a Russian writer and artist. Prigov was a dissident during the era of the Soviet Union and was briefly sent to a psychiatric hospital in 1986.[2]

Early life and career

Born in Moscow, Russian SFSR, Prigov started writing poetry as a teenager. He was trained as a sculptor, however, at the Stroganov Art Institute in Moscow and later worked as an architect as well as designing sculptures for municipal parks.[2]

Artistic career

Prigov and his friend Lev Rubinstein were leaders of the conceptual art school started in the 1960s viewing performance as a form of art. He was also known for writing verse on tin cans.[2]

He was a prolific poet having written nearly 36,000 poems by 2005.[2] For most of the Soviet Era, his poetry was circulated underground as Samizdat. It was not officially published until the end of the Communist era.[1] His work was widely published in émigré publications and Slavic studies journals well before it was officially distributed.

from Internal Reckonings

Disclaimer


Our time of crisis within the political and ideological systems, as well as within the grand western humanistic tradition, is, perhaps, only the outermost symptomaticological stratum of the deeper collapse of our outdated anthropology. This crisis (like a crisis in any structure) is revealed in the divisive hierarchy of interrelated elements and the preponderance of reflexo-dramaturgical origins of the informato-instructional.

Here are some real life examples:

(1)
My good leg
Having stuffed itself
In the morning
On curds
Whilst poorest me
Goes hungry
Healthful and full of youth
Goes out for a walk
Where the hell are you going
I can’t do a thing without you! —
Where are you going?
Today’s youth gives a damn about nothing

(3)
Not wind wailing from the heights
Of the peak of Kremlin chimes
But like the will of a necromancer —
My liver
I ask: Is it you
My sweet little one? —
It is I! — I never doubted it for a minute
It replies — And embracing
It on the spot
With the two-headed eagle
Perched!
Wretched! My deceiver!

(6)
Next, a drawn out evening conversation with the shinbone, which, it turns out, is the only one that understands and even feels compassion, but there’s really nothing it can do on its own

(7)
Then something basically cellular — even on a molecular level

(10)

A senseless argument with the occipitalis about honor, dignity and all that is good and decent; especially as it appears before me in the guise of some oil-gas faction, in as much as it claims that it has much closer ties, and even an emotional attachment to its ancient proto-geologic relations.

(11)
Then the nerves — well, they, you understand, grew completely independent long ago, even with pretensions that they are a consummately self-separate anthropomorphousness, and generally, such immense pretensions.

(13)
A break during a performance of trabecular bone — air, quiet, music, the firmament’s luminescence

(16)
OK — let’s pull it all together —
Various Livers, heads, and teats
I appeal to them all:
— Let’s come together, brothers
We can make it at least till morning! —
— Come on! Lets go! It’s time
There are things to do

Tr. Chris Mattison

from Incredible Events

Disclaimer


We all huddle around the table with incredible events of life saving, healing, and so on — Of countless miraculous sorcerers, shamans, yogis, and new-age healers who have turned the entire ruinous process of cause and effect on its head, who simply do not choose to believe in the banal and miserable natural course of events. But they remain, even though the incredible is, alas, much more frequent and convincing!

A completely random event — a child falls from the 14th floor and dies, does not survive, as one would rightly expect

And here’s an event no less strange — a man falls into a cage with a beast of prey and says a certain magic word, but against all expectations, is devoured to the bone

Or how, in spite of all comprehensible expectations, a man with amputated legs passed away without living to see prostheses, with which he ought to have learned to dance — everyone was quite distressed by this

Or a man, having fallen into the heart of battle, does not wait for everyone else, and perishes there in the most commonplace of ways, and does not return intact and unharmed, as is customary

And here’s something quite incredible — a man in a noose has the stool kicked out from under him, and he hangs lifelessly in the noose, and then does nothing else that one would quite naturally expect from him

Or, for example, a man is grabbed by the hair, plunged under water, held there without a breath for 20—25 minutes, is released, and everyone expects, with certainty, that he will appear living from the water; however, he slowly floats to the surface awkwardly, a clumsy corpse, by which everyone is deeply and most unpleasantly surprised

Tr. Chris Mattison

from Difficult Childhood or 20 Dreadful Tales

Disclaimer


Anyone who has been through childhood is able to recall similar things. It is possible, of course, to begin explaining it in a Freudian manner; it is possible to understand everything in this way. It is that simple.

(1)
When I was young and played
violin amidst a great hall
a rat crept out from behind
and crawled up my pant leg
nibbling away at my trembling scrotum
until it had nibbled it completely away
and I played, played, played, and I played
in the midst of the enormous, dank
hall


(3)
A merry old woman who lived nearby
Dropped everything and stopped in to visit
Sitting and laughing, forgetting everything
Her lower dentures flapping and flapping
The two of us laughing faintly and idiotically
I look — every tooth in her mouth
Brand-new
And mine — bare! And
bleeding incessantly as well

(9)
I remember, laying in bed sick
And a whitish light running to me
Cuddling up in my legs like it was playing
Like a thousand gentle squeezes
With such fervor
Passed through me and disappeared into my sole
I grasped it by the hair — ah!
But it had no hair
Everything fled through my sole

(11)
I sat behind a desk with one girl
She grasped a half-crushed flower
And tenderly took my hand
I see — she has three hands
Then she touched my legs
I see — she has three legs
And she ran off with all of them
So lightly running through
But I didn’t budge, didn’t rise — and
That’s
The story


Tr. Chris Mattison

from Dialogues

Apotheosis of the Policeman

Forewarned Conversation No. 1


1st man: What is oputheozis?
2nd man: How can I explain it? It is a kind of award.
1st man: An award? Like an Order?
2nd man: No, not exactly like an Order.
1st man: Then like what? Maybe a medal?
2nd man: No, not exactly a medal either.
1st man: Not exactly?
2nd man: Not exactly.
1st man: Then what is it?
2nd man: Well, oputheozis — It’s a sort of commendation
1st man: A-a-ah. Understood.

Forewarned Conversation No. 2

Man: Comrade major, what is oputheozis?
Major: Not oputheozis, apotheosis.
Man: But what is it?
Major: How can I explain it to you so that you will understand? It is the honest and conscientious fulfillment of a duty, the execution of a service that results in you becoming an example to others.
Man: Do you have to wait long for it?
Major: As long as it takes. Under certain circumstances zeal may be reached after five or so years.
Man: And what then?
Major: Then it will last and bring people joy.

Forewarned Conversation No. 3

Man: Citizen author, what is apotheosis?
Author: How can I explain it most understandably? It is the highest point, in this particular instance — life.
Man: It’s what, a high rank?
Author: But with every high rank you can always reach a higher.
Man: So then it is the highest rank?
Author: But for every highest rank you can manage national exploits and glory.
Man: Well then what is it?
Author: It is victory in the face of future impossibility.
Man: It’s what? How can you guess what’s going to be impossible? Not until you’re dead.
Author: That is apotheosis. It is the victory of life in the light of looming death.

Tr. Chris Mattison

Seven New Stories about Stalin

1.
One day, in his youth, Stalin and a friend walked by a butcher shop. Stalin grabbed a piece of meat and took off. They caught him and asked him, “did you steal it?” “No,” he answered, “he did it.” And his friend was torn to pieces.

2.
Life had gotten completely awful for the people. Riots were breaking out. The tsar summoned Stalin and said: “line up the people on Senate Square.” Stalin brought the people there, and gendarmes were waiting. They began to fire, and killed everyone. Over a million.

3.
One day Trotsky, Zinov’ev and Bukharin came to Stalin and said, “you’re not right. Let’s talk about it.” Stalin whipped out a pistol from his desk and killed them right on the spot. And he ordered that the corpses be buried quickly.

4.
One day Stalin came to Lenin in Gorky. He saw that no one was around, and he cut Lenin’s throat. And he buried the corpse without being seen. He returned to Moscow and said: “Lenin is dead. He bequeathed everything to me.”

5.
One day Stalin’s wife came to him and said, “why did you rob that poor woman of all her money? That’s no good.” Stalin whipped out his pistol and shot her on the spot. And he buried the corpse without being seen.

6.
One day Nikita Sergeevich Krushchev came to Stalin and said, “you’re wrong. Let’s talk about it.” Stalin whipped out his pistol from his desk, but Krushchev shot first and killed Stalin. And he buried the corpse without being seen.

7.
One day Stalin walked along the street. The people recognized him and said, “there he is, there’s Stalin.” Stalin began to run, and the people went after him. They caught him, tore him to pieces, burned him, and threw his ashes into the Moscow River.

Dmitri Prigov (1940–2007) was one of the most influential and productive poets of the Soviet generation. He is recognized as principal Conceptualist in Russian poety, and continues to have a great influence on young Russian poets. See his obituary in the New York Times, and Silliman’s Blog. An English edition of his poems, Fifty Drops of Blood, was published in 2003.

-- Dmitri Prigov, translated by Chris Mattison and Philip Metres, jacketmagazine.com, © Dmitri Prigov and Chris Mattison and Philip Metres and Jacket magazine 2008.


In 1986, the K.G.B arrested Prigov, who performed a street action by handing poetic texts to passers-by, and sent him to a psychiatric institution before he was freed after protests by poets such as Bella Akhmadulina.[2]

From 1987 he started to be published and exhibited officially, and in 1991 he joined the Writers' Union. He had been a member of the Artists' Union from 1975.

Prigov took part in an exhibition in the USSR in 1987: his works were presented in the framework of the Moscow projects "Unofficial Art" and "Modern Art". In 1988 his personal exhibition took place in the USA, in Struve's Gallery in Chicago. Afterwards his works were many times exhibited in Russia and abroad.

Prigov also wrote the novels Live in Moscow and Only My Japan, and was an artist with works at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.[3] He had many strings to his bow writing plays and essays, creating drawings, video art and installations and even performing music.[2]

Prigov, together with philosopher Mikhail Epstein, is credited with introducing the concept of "new sincerity" (novaia iskrennost' ) as a response to the dominant sense of absurdity in late Soviet and post-Soviet culture.[4][5] Prigov referred to a "shimmering aesthetics" that (as explained by Epstein) "is defined not by the sincerity of the author or the quotedness of his style, but by the mutual interaction of the two."[4]

In 1993 Prigov was awarded Pushkin Prize of Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. and in 2002 he won Boris Pasternak Prize.

Dmitri Prigov died from a heart attack in 2007, aged 66, in Moscow. He had been planning an event where he would sit in a wardrobe reading poetry while being carried up 22 flights of stairs at Moscow State University by members of Voina Group.[1]

In 2011 Hermitage Museum presented an important monographic exhibition of Prigov's art in Venice during 54th Biennale.

Spelling of his name

Prigov's name in his native Russian Cyrillic lettering, Дми́трий Алекса́ндрович При́гов, has been rendered in English in various ways, with variations in the spelling of his first and middle names:

• Dimitri Prigov – Associated Press,[6] The New York Times
• Dimitrii Aleksandrovich Prigov[7]
• Dimitrij Aleksandrovich Prikov, Russian Literature, a periodical[8]
• Dmitry Aleksandrovich Prigov – Encyclopædia Britannica[9]
• Dimitry Prigov – The St. Petersburg Times (English language, Russia)[10] The Moscow Times[11]

Selected filmography

• Khrustalyov, My Car! (1998)
• Taxi Blues (1990)

References

1. Dmitri Prigov, leader of conceptualist school, dies at age 66 news agency AP via International Herald Tribune, 16 July 2007
2. New York Times "Dmitri Prigov, 66, Poet Who Challenged Soviet Authority, Dies" 20 July 2007
3. Russian Culture Navigator Archived 17 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
4. Mikhail Epstein, "On the Place of Postmodernism in Postmodernity," in Mikhail Epstein, Aleksandr Genis, Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover, eds., Russian Postmodernism: New Perspectives on Post-Soviet Culture (Berghahn Books, 1999), ISBN 978-1-57181-098-4, p. 457, excerpt available at Google Books.
5. Alexei Yurchak, "Post-Post-Communist Sincerity: Pioneers, Cosmonauts, and Other Soviet Heroes Born Today," in Thomas Lahusen and Peter H. Solomon, eds., What Is Soviet Now?: Identities, Legacies, Memories (LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster, 2008), ISBN 978-3-8258-0640-8, p.258-59, excerpt available at Google Books.
6. "Obituaries in the News", USA Today, Associated Press wire stories, including "Dimitri Prigov" brief obituary; see also "Russian poet Dmitri Prigov dies, age 66", version of same AP article at The Free Online Library website; both retrieved 14 January 2009
7. Lipovetsky, Mark, and Eliot Borenstein, Russian Postmodernist Fiction: Dialogue with Chaos, p 302, published by M.E. Sharpe, 1999, ISBN 978-0-7656-0177-3
8. Was noted in a bibliographic listing in Reference Guide to Russian Literature, p 663, Neil Cornwell, Nicole Christian, editors, published by Taylor & Francis, 1998, ISBN 978-1-884964-10-7; the Reference Guide itself uses "Dimitrii Aleksandrovich Prigov"; retrieved 14 January 2009
9. "Russia" section of "Literature" article in Britannica Book of the Year 2007, published by Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008, online version retrieved 14 January 2009
10. Kishkovsky, Sophia, "Dmitry Prigov 1940–2007: A Russian poet and performance artist whose work was respected in the west", 27 July, 2007reprint of New York Times obituary; retrieved 14 January 2009
11. Peter, Thomas, "Artists Mock Establishment With Sense of Absurd", Reuters article as printed in The Moscow Times, 24 July 2008, retrieved 14 January 2009

External links

• The End(s) of Russian Poetry: An Interview with Dmitry Prigov by Philip Metres
• Dimitry Alexandrovich Prigov, Soviet-Era Avant-Garde Poet and Artist, Rest in Peace an overview that includes some Prigov poems
• Russia’s leading conceptualist poet has died poet Ron Silliman provides a useful memento to Prigov, with links to pieces on Prigov, including Silliman's own blog-essay from 22 March 2006
• Biography of Dmitri Prigov (in English)
• Prigov PennSound page with sound recording of "Alphabets"
• Prigov poems tr. into English at Jacket
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:06 pm

Lev Rubinstein
(USSR, 1947)
by Poetry International Web
Accessed: 8/10/18

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Lev Rubinstein Thursday 7 May 2015

Poet, performer and columnist Lev Rubinstein (Moscow, 1947) is one of the founders of Russian conceptualism. With his passionate social engagement and nuanced personal statements, he is a role model for the young avant-garde. Pussy Riot poses for snapshots on his side, and his blogs and Facebook posts unleash a flood of responses.

In interviews, he advocates equal rights for minorities, the release of political prisoners and the cessation of armed violence. In his own words, Rubinstein is resentful of the current regime, which seems to uphold the standards and values of the criminal circuit and the secret services, for 'aesthetic reasons': 'They regard any sign of goodwill, any concession, as a weakness . . . Words like generosity and mercy sound foreign to them'. Via social media, Rubinstein urges abstainers to attend protest meetings because of 'something that sometimes, and only by approximation, can be called conscience'.


The same unwillingness to play with empty concepts is characteristic of his poetry. In the 1970s, he resorted to writing with only punctuation, suggesting silences with various connotations. The punctuation marks were written on little cards, identical to those in library catalogues. Rubinstein's 'note-card library' was born.

Minimalistic stacks were followed by sets with texts such as, 'Attention! Message follows', or sentences on different topics:

41.
Oysters vary in number. What, you didn't know that?

42.
You should have taught him good manners earlier. It's too late now.

43.
Ideally, by Wednesday. Thursday is the absolute deadline.
– The great chain of being (2006) (trans. Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky)*


Such poems, often named after a famous work of art or scientific concept are symphonies in cacophonous disguise, in which the disorderly choir of everyday life clashes with solemn interludes or demands for reflection:

55.
QUIET!

56.
Kind of a man. He kind of loves. He kind of suffers.
He kind of speaks. He kind of breathes. He kind of lives.
– The habit of dramatization (1986) (trans. Metres and Tulchinsky)


These platitudes are no match for individual expression, which, however ludicrous, manages to characterize a person without violating their privacy. Rubinstein's poems are therefore a fine place to inhabit.

Anyone searching in the clamour for the poet's personal revelations will notice the absence of certain registers, like violence or obscenity, favoured by many an underground artist, and is sporadically rewarded with a reminiscence:

62
...This I remember well: the sleepy kitchen,
and soapy water coming to a boil...

63
...And how the blue phonograph box
would be half-opened on occasion...

64
...And how those blessed years passed
against the records' hiss and crackle...

65
...And how the oil lamp's pallid fire
was covered by a murky glass...

66
...was covered by a murky glass."
– Regular writing (1994) (trans. Metres and Tulchinsky)


* All poems quoted here in English translation can be found in the Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014).

© Nina Targan Mouravi (Translated by Michele Hutchison)

Bibliography

From The big note card library: A little night music, Mama washes the windows, The rise of a hero, Moscow, 1992
Farther and farther, Moscow, 1995
Regular writing, St. Petersburg, 1996
Incidents from the language, St. Petersburg, 1998
Domestic music-making, Moscow, 2000
Running after your hat and other texts, Moscow, 2004
Scents of time, Moscow, 2007
Vocabulary, Moscow, 2008
Attention symbols, Corpus, Moscow, 2012
Probably, Moscow, 2013

In English

Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties, trans. Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky, Ugly Duckling Presse, New York, 2014

Rubinstein's work has been translated into English, French, German and Swedish.
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