Literature Nobel Prize Winners Support the ilb's Appeal in Favour of Pussy Riot

Free our Sisters

Lars Gustafsson, Elfriede Jelinek, Hanif Kureshi, Melinda Nadj Abonji, Mario Vargas Llosa, Oksana Zabuzhko and many other writers support the appeal of international literature festival berlin for Pussy Riot.


Today, Friday 17 August 2012, was the last day in the court proceedings against Pussy Riot. The sentence as such, and the fact that there was a trial at all, is a disgrace! It is another example of how Putin’s system is trying to shut up a whole generation of artists and keep them from expressing themselves in art, culture and civil society.

The international literature festival berlin, writers and intellectuals from the whole world pay reverence to Nadeshda Tolokonnikova, Jekatarina Samuzewicz, and Maria Alechina, whose artistic initiative in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour has shown that there is another Russia, a country that does not tolerate bans on freedom of opinion and the ways these manifest themselves in and are imposed by the church or the ruling classes. In view of the dictatorial traits of Putin’s regime, evidenced by Russia’s permanent veto in the UN Security Council in association with China, which shows the country’s particular understanding of democracy and humanity, we need to express our solidarity with the punk band and the civil society institutions, who are being criminalized by a new law. This is a European and an international necessity! After all, we have to defend the fundamental human rights in one of the vastest regions on our planet.

This week the ilb launched an appeal and invitesd artists and intellectuals, schools and universities, radio and TV stations, theatres and other cultural institutions to join us for a worldwide reading in solidarity with Pussy Riot and the democratic groups in Russia on 12 December 2012. It was the 12th of December when, in 1993, in a general referendum, the constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted by the DUMA. It is not Pussy Riot who is undermining Russian democracy, but those who are trying to kill the achievements made by the soft revolution at the end of the last century. We will read the songs and lyrics of the punk band, as well as their testimonies and statements at court.

Until now this appeal is supported by:
Hector Abad, Zsuzsa Bánk, Jeanne Benameur, Mirko Bonné, James Byrne, Amir Hassan Cheheltan, Bora Cosic, Marie Darrieussecq, Dorothea Dieckmann, Arnd, Gretel & Beatrice Dossi, Reimer Eilers, Peter Faecke, Dieter M. Gräf, Gintaras Grajauskas, Lars Gustafsson, Alban Nikolai Herbst, Uwe Herms, Hendrik Jackson, Willi Jasper, Elfriede Jelinek, Lidija Klasic, Peter Kleiß, Mario Vargas Llosa, Ekke Maaß, Norman Manea, Alberto Manguel, Sonja Margolina, Amanda Michalopoulou, Bart Moeyaert, Melinda Nadj Abonji, Tim Parks, Elisabeth Plessen, Martin Pollack, Santiago Roncagliolo, Annika Scheffel, Robert Schindel, Jenny Schon, Raoul Schrott, Sjón, Rebecca Solnit, C.K. Stead, Antje Rávic Strubel, Hans Thill, Ted van Lieshout, Vladimir Vertlib, Herbert Wiesner, Oksana Zabuzhko, Jenni Zylka.

The upcoming ilb will therefore host a solidarity event for Pussy Riot at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele on Saturday, 8 September 2012 at 7.30 p.m. The evening will be dedicated to the new (German) translation of Michail Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita”. The accused and their supporters repeatedly quoted from the book during the trial, which must be read as a literary answer to Stalinism. The protagonists of the solidarity event will participate without charging a fee and the box office takings will be donated to Pussy Riot.

If you are interested in the worldwide reading, please contact us at:

worldwidereading@literaturfestival.com

for your application and further details.

Ulrich Schreiber                                                                     

Festival Director

 

Thomas Böhm

Programme Director