the communication of dissent: Pussyriot’s “Putin Lights Up the Fires”

Chloe Sevigny reading Pussyriot

Pussyriot’s verdict may be in, but the world has not forgotten their bravery.

Photos by Mark Kendall from the Liberty Hall Ace Hotel reading on August 16 in NYC.

Below are song lyrics and text of a new letter from the incarcerated Pussy Riot members,

Pussy Riot shares new song, “Putin Lights Up the Fires” with the world HERE. This is the group’s first musical piece since the “Virgin Mary, Please Drive Putin Away” for which three members were found guilty of hooliganism driven by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in jail. The Guardian has edited the new song to a montage of Pussy Riot members and their supporters.

Eileen Myles

The song was revealed previously and it’s been published at a lot of places, but the lyrics are brand new, just received from their team. We want to be sure that people know their lyrics, what they sing about; their statements and philosophies are at the core. Would you be interested to add the lyrics to your Pussy Riot coverage?

Below is the first look at the new song’s lyrics in Russian. Use Google translation for now if you want to see a version in your preferred language.

Pussy Riot “Putin Lights Up the Fires”

Государство в тюрьме сильнее времени
Чем больше арестов – тем больше счастья
А каждый арест – с любовью к сексисту
Качнувшему щеки, как грудь и живот

Но нас нельзя закупорить в ящик
Свергай чекистов лучше и чаще

Путин зажигает костры революций
Ему скучно и страшно с людьми в тишине
Что ни казнь у него – то гнилая рябина,
Что ни срок в много лет – то предмет для поллюций

Johanna Fateman

Страна идет, страна идет на улицы с дерзостью
Страна идет, страна идет прощаться с режимом,
Страна идет, страна идет феминистским клином
А Путин идет, Путин идет, прощаться скотом

Арестуй по 6 мая весь город
7 лет нам мало, дай 18
Запрети кричать, клеветать и гулять,
Возьми себе в жены батьку Лукашенка

Припев 2 раза.

Pussy Riot “Putin Lights Up the Fires” VIDEO:

VIDEO: (video credit: Kashi Mai Somers)

About Pussy Riot:

Pussy Riot is an anonymous Russian feminist performance art group formed in October 2011. Through a series of peaceful performances in highly visible places, the group has given voice to basic rights under threat in Russia today, while expressing the values and principles of gender equality, democracy and freedom of expression contained in the Russian constitution and other international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the CEDAW Convention.
Detained members of the art group Pussy Riot

Maria Alekhina, 24. Poet and Student at the Institute of Journalism and Creative writing. Mother of 5 year-old boy.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23. Visual Artist and 4th year Philosophy Student. Mother of 4 year-old girl.

Ekaterina Samucevich, 29. Visual Artist, degree from The Alexander Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia. Moscow

About – HERE:

An international team advocating for the release of Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich, whom we would like to see reunited with their children, families, and supportive community.



The 6th letter from detention by Nadia written on the eve of the verdict

Original publication in Russian HERE.

By Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

My imprisonment does not anger me. I do not keep grudges, not personal grudges [at least]. I do, however, keep political grudges. Our imprisonment is a clear sign that the freedom is taken away from [all of us] — from the entire country. This threat of destruction of Russian liberating and emancipatory forces is what makes me angry. [We all must see] the big picture in small events, a tendency in a [constellation of seemingly random] signs, and a common trend in specific occurrences.

The second-wave feminists said: “The private is political.” This is true. The Pussy Riot case is showing how problems of three particular people who are charged with disorderly conduct, can give life to a political movement. This special case of suppression and persecution of those who dared to Speak Up in an authoritarian country, stirred up the entire world: activists, punks, pop stars, government members, comedians, environmentalists, feminists, masculinist, Islamic theologians, and Christians – all of them pray for Pussy Riot. These private problems have become a truly political matter.

The Pussy Riot case is bringing together very diverse and multi-directional forces, and I still have a hard time believing that this is not a dream. The unbelievable happens in the modern Russian politics: the demanding, persistent, powerful, and consistent pressure of society on the government authorities.

I am grateful to everyone who said: “Free Pussy Riot!» We all are now making [history] — a large and important political event, — and Putin’s system will find it harder and harder to control it. Whatever Pussy Riot’s verdict is, we all are already winning. This is because we have learned how to be angry and vocal politically.

All Pussy Riot [members] are happy that we have been able to raise our fellow citizens to a truly communal action; we are happy that your political passion is so strong that it was able [to unite people] of different languages, cultures, ways of life, and economic and political statuses. Kant would have said he did not see any other reason for this Miracle than the moral foundations of a human being. Thank you for the Miracle.

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