Today’s Europe faces a big new challenge. The current refugee crisis will become a defining issue of our generation. Pussy Riot feels this European challenge as their own. Over 750,000 refugees have arrived in Europe so far in 2015. Many more are coming. They are mostly escaping from war or persecution in Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan. Thousands are dying on the way. In the UK, for example, refugees cannot apply for asylum from outside the country – so they are forced to travel there illegally.
Why can’t we live in a truly global world, not one with locked borders, razor wires and refugee camps? History has shown that migrants can be innovative and entrepreneurial. Look at the US for an example of a whole culture built on the input of immigrants and migrants. Thousands of ordinary people across Europe are trying to help, but most governments are not matching their efforts. We believe in solidarity with human beings in need, wherever they are from, whatever their background. This is not a question of politics or nationality, but of saving human lives. The music video “Refugees In” is dedicated to the refugees. Thia powerful piece was filmed on September 25th, 2015 during the Pussy Riot performance at Banksy’s Dismaland with the generous help from director Ralf Schmerberg and music producers bretonLABS, Ten Ven and Alexandre Parsons.
Pussy Riot have joined forces with London-based art-group The Connor Brothers (Mike Snelle and James Golding) who have started the NGO “Refugee Response Foundation” to help the refugees in Calais. Pussy Riot will visit Calais in January 2016 to build shelters in association with students from the architecture department at Cambridge University to help the housing problem. If Europe closes the borders hundreds of thousands of Muslims, putting on the line everything they have to escape radical Muslim state, will never be able to see another world. Some of them will join that very ISIS, being embittered and disappointed in the good will of European states. We should accept and save those who flee countries occupied by terrorists. The time of grief for the dead should not become a time in which we betray the belief of millions in the humanity of the European world. Our grief should not teach us to aim for revenge, war and hate. It should teach us to help and show real compassion for each other.
Pussy Riot is now recording several pieces of music, the main idea is to oppose the right-wing conservative curtain that seems to be falling globally, no longer just affecting Russia but countries across Europe and the US. Neo–facist parties in Europe, Donald Trump in the US, the rise of Germany’s AfD; it’s fucking scary. And it’s the reason and it’s the time to be loud and proud of your feminist, LGBTQ and pro-refugees values.
Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot concludes, “We are planning to release a lot of disturbing videos next year. We hope that you will not like them.”