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CHERNOVS CHOICE

Published: January 16, 2013 (Issue # 1742)


St. Petersburg will demonstrate solidarity with Maria Alyokhina, an imprisoned member of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, by holding a roundtable titled Class, Gender, Politics: Russia After Pussy Riot.

International Day of Solidarity with Alyokhina will be held Wednesday, with solidarity events planned in cities including Berlin, Bonn, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Munich, Paris and Stockholm. Check www.freepussyriot.org for more information about the events.

The campaign is scheduled to coincide with a court hearing called to decide whether Alyokhina deserves to be released, with her sentence exchanged for a suspended one, on the grounds that she is a single mother of a young child.

The hearing will take place in the IK-28 female prison colony in Berezniki in the Perm Krai, some 2,000 kilometers southeast of St. Petersburg.

Alyokhina has reportedly encountered particularly harsh conditions in her prison colony, being repeatedly punished for alleged oversleeping and confined to a solitary cell. There have also been reports of hostile attitudes toward her from her fellow inmates.

Alongside Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, Alyokhina was sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism motivated by hatred for a religious group.

The Kafkaesque trial, which ended in August in Moscow, saw the defendants deprived of food, water and sleep, defense witnesses ejected from the court so that they could not testify, police dogs in the courtroom and the arrests of Pussy Riot supporters outside the court most infamously that of former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who was then accused of biting a police officer.

Samutsevich was later released on a suspended sentence.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have been in prison since March 3, 2012, when they were arrested on the eve of the Russian presidential election.

Some see the unusually severe treatment of the bands members as revenge by Vladimir Putin, whom the band confronted and ridiculed in their performances and videos.

Pussy Riots support group has urged people to organize readings, music festivals of support or public events. Any sharing of information about the lawless imprisonment of Maria is helpful and may persuade the judge to release Maria, they wrote in a statement.

St. Petersburgs roundtable will be held at the Center for Independent Social Research at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

One of the topics of discussion will be whether Pussy Riots feminism really threatened the Russian constitution, which guarantees equal rights for men and women, as the Moscow court claimed.

Meanwhile, the New Year holidays were marred by the death of the legendary St. Petersburg drummer Yevgeny Guberman.

Guberman, who died on Dec. 30 at the age of 57, was best-loved for his work with the seminal Leningrad underground rock bands Akvarium and Zoopark. See article, this page.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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