Pussy Riot Releases First Video in a Year, Taking on Russian Oil Profits and Other High-Profile Targets

Russian punk performance art collective Pussy Riot will not be deterred. Despite two of their members still languishing in prison labor camps for a musical protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the band continues to rail against its country’s corruption and abuses. This time, in their first music video in almost a year, they take on the Russian oil industry and other targets in the song above called “Like in a Red Prison.” The Wall Street Journal writes:

The confusing and caustic lyrics to the hard-to-listen-to song decry sexism, “homophobic vermin,” actor Gerard Depardieu (a recent recipient of Russian citizenship courtesy of Mr. Putin), and likens Russia’s president to the Ayatollah of Iran.

I don’t find the song hard to listen to at all—quite the contrary—and the video’s pretty exhilarating too, with the band members, in trademark multi-colored balaclavas, clambering atop an oil derrick and defacing a portrait of oil executive Igor Sechin and a head of the Investigative Committee (Russia’s FBI). Definitely a lot going on here, but the central focus is the critique of Russian big oil. The band explains on their site that “Russia’s revenues from the oil industry amounted to 7 trillion rubles ($216 billion), but only Russian President Vladimir Putin and ‘several of his friend see this’” [sic].  The new song’s lyrics were partly written by one of the still-imprisoned members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Related Content:

Russian Punk Band, Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Deriding Putin, Releases New Single

Fear of a Female Planet: Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) on Why Russia and the US Need a Pussy Riot

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him at @jdmagness


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  1. Arthur Mc Donald says . . . | July 17, 2013 / 6:45 am

    `Like In A Red Prison` is fabulous to hear and see. I love Pussy Riot art.There`s an interview with me in the art&music magazine FixeMag http://blog.fixemag.org/tagged/arthur-mcdonald I`ve also added some comments at the end of the Glasstire (Texas art online) `Suspicious Utopias` interview with Matthew Collings&Emma Biggs. Viva Pussy Riot,Femen,Zizek and Akiane !

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