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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

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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