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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, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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