Dear Friends and Fellows,
While a group of three brave young women sit confined in a Moscow prison for taking to the streets in protest of a system we all know to be rigged, tyrannical, and murderous, we sit out here, not apart, but in solidarity.
Charged with “hooliganism” after a “punk prayer” performance, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Ekaterina Samoutsevitch, alleged members of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot are on trial, facing a seven-year sentence following their arrest in the Spring of 2012 for an action Pussy Riot performed at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. We encourage you to answer, in equally impatient and unreasonable terms, the Russian government’s excessive use of force specifically as well as its intimidation towards all forms of dissent in general, especially against artistic and political freedom of expression.
It is important here to highlight why these women are incarcerated and why we stand with them. As culture workers, they have facilitated a relationship to the everyday and reconsidered the world around them and their place within it. And so will we. As culture workers, they have created a space for open and vigorous questioning despite the lackthereof within their immediate environment. And so will we. As culture workers, they have sought to dissolve hierarchy in favor of movement, voice, and vision. And so will we. As culture workers, they have moved towards enriching the landscape where our collective, civic voice can move, grow, debate, and generate a desire and belief in the right to individual autonomy and equality regardless of difference. And so will we.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once famously wrote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere… Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
And so, the actions of Pussy Riot are our actions.
As culture workers we fight for generative chaos.
We conjure questions.
We demand a RIGHT TO THE IMAGINATION!
Free Pussy Riot!
Day of Action: August 17
Imagine, organize, and demonstrate support for Pussy Riot in your local community, cultural spaces, and households on August 17, 2012. Open the spaces which are yours and ours.
Come, observe, gather, and demonstrate support for Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Ekaterina Samoutsevitch in Vancouver at Access Gallery 222 East Georgia Street, 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Discussion and creative actions will take place! All are welcome!
Organize! Question! Celebrate!
In solidarity with cultural workers everywhere for the
cause of Peace, Freedom, and Anarchy for true Equity!
crystal am nelson (Art Practical Contributor)
Larissa Archer (Actress, Writer)
Dena Beard (Curator)
Aja Rose Bond & Gabriel Saloman (The STAG)
Alex Cuff (Writer, Teacher)
Randy Lee Cutler (Emily Carr University)
Courtney Dailey (Red76/Mildred’s Lane/Project Mobile Livre - The Book Mobile)
Joseph del Pesco (Kadist Art Foundation)
Jamie Emerick (Artist)
Luke Fischbeck & Sara Rara (Lucky Dragons)
Christian L. Frock (Invisible Venue)
Amy Fung (Cineworks)
Dylan Gauthier (Red76 / Mare Liberum - Free Seas)
Randy Gledhill (LIVE Biennale)
Sam Gould (Red76)
Makiko Hara (Centre A)
Aaron Harbour (Editor, Art Cards)
Katie Hargrave (Artist)
Keith Higgins (UNIT/PITT Projects)
Rachel Higgins (Artist)
David Horvitz (Artist)
Jessica Jackson Hutchins (Artist)
Am Johal (Cultural Worker)
Jackie Im (Independent Curator/Editor, Artcards)
Doug Jarvis (PAARC, President)
Packard Jennings (Destructables.org)
Alystyre Julian (Artist)
Jeff Khonsary (Fillip)
Patricia Maloney (Editor, Art Practical)
Brian McBay (221A Artist Run Centre)
Heidi Nagtegaal (Hammock Residency)
Michael D. Neville (Esq.)
Magnolia Pauker (Fillip)
Byron Peters (Lower Mainland Painting Co.)
Demian Petryshyn (Artist)
Kristina Lee Podesva (Fillip)
Zachary Royer Scholz (Artist)
Lisa Schonberg (Musician)
A.L. Steiner (Artist)
Althea Thauberger (Artist)
Joseph Thomas (Artist)
Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.)
Jen Weih (Artist/OtherSights Board Member)
Jacob Wick (Information Department/overca$h)