The Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of religious hatred for their protest inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior today. The Interfax news agency translates the Khamovnichesky Court verdict as such:
"The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens.,” the court said in a verdict being pronounced on Friday.
The women were motivated by religious enmity and hatred, and acted provocatively and in an insulting manner inside a religious building in the presence of a large number of believers,” the court said.
The court also has found that the Pussy Riot activists realized that their actions during the “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior were insulting and intended to communicate information on the stunt to a broad range of believers.
"Intending to make the planned actions public and ensure that they drew public response, to draw the attention of the public to their illegal actions, and to communicate the expressed disrespect not only to the clergy and people in the church, but also to other citizens who were not present in the church at the time [of the punk prayer], but shared Orthodox traditions, Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina, and their unidentified accomplice informed various media assistants and active bloggers on their action," the sentence read in the Khamovnichesky Court on Friday says.
Up top is the video of the Pussy Riot "protest-as-prayer" performance for which three members of the band have found guilty.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Poetry Gone Video Viral
Trent Gilliss, online editor
Poetry. What can I say. Verse slakes our audiences’ thirst; many of us imbibe poetry in binges. Yet, most people — well, I — don’t regularly take the time to sit down and read a chapbook, much less a poem these days. These cinematic tableaux (embedded above and below) commissioned by BBC’s Poetry Season rekindle that flame and force me to reconsider my lethargic attitude.
Perhaps it’s remembering the shared commonality of a poem, the power of it being read aloud and its reminder to us that people living several hundred years ago weren’t so different from us. We, too often, internalize poetry and disconnect ourselves from the communal act. The human condition speaks to the lonely wanderer in a crowded room as much as on a wayward street.
My hope is that projects like this, and even our own efforts as part of the Poetry Radio Project, can reclaim this pop heritage. Poems can elevate the understanding and relevance of complex topics like Alzheimer’s and memory, Argentina’s disappeared, and a geologist’s view of human fragility through more than the intellect.
To be frank, I played rock-paper-scissors with myself and let Blake’s poem "Jerusalem" take the lead. But the slow-motion video of Brit punk rocker Itch of The King Blues reading Byron’s "So We’ll Go No More a Roving" was impossible to ignore.