Russian to new Conclusions – tAtU and Pussy Riot

I was listening to my iPod last night and I came across an artist from the 1990s or very early 2000s.

t. A. T. u

Remember they were all shocking because they were ‘lesbian’ and all public about it in their film clip?

To refresh your memory: http://youtu.be/8mGBaXPlri8

They must have been exceptional and controversial, Russian artists don’t often appear in ‘Western’ charts.

Why were they special?
Because they were, or at least pretending to be, lesbians in Russia.

“Why is that special, PIK? There are lesbians all over the world!”
Russia, as we know (better) in the present day, does not like LGBTI people.
The Family Values Bill, passed by the Russian Duma (Parliament) among several things, bans Pride parades for 100 years:
http://www.policymic.com/articles/58649/russia-s-anti-gay-law-spelled-out-in-plain-english

And a short and sweet Wiki page for some further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Russia

The next Winter Olympic Games are being held in Sochi, Russia in December this year.

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The eyes of the world have been on Russia as it prepares, and these anti-gay laws naturally made the headlines. The international community (Western Nations) have denounced and disapproved these laws. Gay bars in America even boycotted Russian Vodka, a move spearheaded by Gossip mogul, Perez Hilton. That is one heck of a boycott when you think about it. Straight men aren’t avid consumers of cocktails(!)

Ironically, any openly gay athletes that compete are not subject to these laws. Only Russian citizens. #doublestandards

What can be done, PIK?
Two things, well three:

1. Activism and Riots in Russia, violence, death and protest against the laws. Notoriously powerful and corrupt, Russian police and special forces are unlikely to be overpowered by protesters. Gas and guns versus Rainbow tide.

2. International support. Military assistance or money given to activism groups in Russia to make them more powerful. Coup d’état (overthrow of the Government) and ensuing chaos, possibly war. The principal of the international system is that each state is sovereign and independent and other states (despite how connected and exposed we are as a result of globalisation and spying) cannot ‘interfere’ with domestic affairs of other states without being invited to do so. So no, the UN is not able to do much.

3. Boycott of the Games? Bt this is so 1980s Cold War-ish. The USA boycotted the Moscow 1980 games, and the USSR boycotted the 1984 L.A games. This is unlikely, although discussed, it is unfair to the athletes who trained so hard to compete and then not get to compete. So egos are kind of being put aside for the sake of individuals.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not cancel or relocate the Games because according to the Olympic Charter, the Games are to be apolitical, and free from political propaganda. At the Athlestics world championships in Moscow earlier this year, a Swedish athlete was warned for having her fingernails painted rainbow colours, visible while she competed. This was interpreted as propaganda by the IOC and she had nails all one colour the next day. The IOC are being meticulous. Are they being apolitical or ignorant? Food for thought.

Last time the Olympics got political, there were big ramifications.
Remember?

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It’s a difficult situation. Russia seems to be a conservative country. Are the majority of people actually in support of these laws, or is Putin a self installing tyrant who enjoys stripping back human rights progress in his spare time?
Can never know for sure.

He visited the Vatican this week:
http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1366164/no-russia-invite-pope-francis-during-putins-vatican-visit

Why didn’t Putin invite Pope Francis to Russia? Despite being against homosexuality, the Catholic Church still preaches about good treatment of others. “Love one another as I have loved you” etc. It’s ironic, yes, but that aside — Putin as a leader of a very Orthodox country, couldn’t be seen to be criticised by a religious leader.

Conclusion:
Thinking about tATu still, it is pretty well established that it is not good, favourable or ideal to be LGBTI in Russia (from a Russian perspective). This might come as a shock, but tATu were not musically talented, nor were they intending to be. Think about the clip of “All the things she said” — two lesbians in what appears to be an internment camp, in a grey, cold setting.

tATu were a protest group, not a pop duo.

They were faux lesbians to try and draw attention to the political situation in Russia at the time, specifically the treatment of Gays. The music clip visually, reeks of oppression, and has Holocaust undertones.

tATu laid the ground for Pussy Riot, remember them from 2011?

http://freepussyriot.org/about

Pussy Riot as a name has homosexual connotations, and is a name GUARANTEED to get attention outside of Russia. No one remembers the music, but it was their protesting that got them famous. They were then arrested and the leader is now in a Gulag (labour camp/special prison).

tATu was not the first, and Pussy Riot will not be the last.
Kicking myself a bit for not noticing this parallel earlier, but better late than never.
Watch the Olympics with great interest, readers; keep an eye out for anything rainbow.

All these political parallels, running through my head, running through my head….

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing!

PIK

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