1. For the past few weeks, the eyes of the media have been focused on the Pussy Riot trial - in which three members of the Russian punk collective are being charged with “hooliganism” and inciting “religious hatred.”


    In Yekaterina Samutsevich’s closing statements, she addresses the way in which Putin has used the media, in cohesion with the Russian Orthodox Church, to secure his re-election and to bar the freedom of speech for Russian citizens.

    ”[{The] Russian Orthodox Church, which has long had a mystical connection with power, emerged as this project’s principal executor in the media. Moreover, it was also agreed that the Russian Orthodox Church… should also confront all baleful manifestations of contemporary mass culture, with its concept of diversity and tolerance.

    Implementing this thoroughly interesting political project has required considerable quantities of professional lighting and video equipment, air time on national TV channels for hours-long live broadcasts, and numerous background shoots for morally and ethically edifying news stories, where in fact the Patriarch’s well-constructed speeches would be pronounced, helping the faithful make the right political choice during the election campaign.

    …the necessary images must sink into the memory and be constantly updated, to create the impression of something natural, constant and compulsory.”


    But in a twist of irony, Putin is not the only one who has been able to use the media to gain support. With a guilty verdict imminent, the support and international media coverage for the Free Pussy Riot campaign has been astounding, reaching even the psyche of well-known celebrities and spurning social media-organized protests.

    "I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. The whole world now sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial. Once again, the world sees Russia differently…."


    The Pussy Riot trial can definitely be seen as an example of how media, when accessible, unhindered by oppressive institutions and transparent, can incite awareness and change across the globe.


    Watch an exclusive interview for the Observer with three members of Pussy Riot.

    video

    2 notes
    Aug 14 4:58PM
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