“Refugees in, Nazis out / Governments here should feel the shame / Fucking liars, you’re to blame,”
The infamous group Pussy Riot strike again with the release of their new music video “Refugees In”. The video, directed by Ralf Schmerberg, is dedicated to the over three quarters of a million refugees who have sought safety in Europe in 2015 so far from the terror and persecution they face in their home countries. These refugees are fleeing war, political, and religious persecution in Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea, and Syria. With the recent terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria and the controversy over granting refugees entrance into the United States, the video release is truly perfect timing.
The music video imagines a kind of refugee revolt at Banksy’s Dismaland. For those of you unfamiliar with Banksy, he is an English-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director whose real identity is unknown. He describes his Dismaland creation as a “festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism”.
Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot stated that “Dismaland’s slogan says that this park is the most disappointing experience, and how disappointing is it to come to a political punk-band’s show and looking at the police brutally beating protestors? This fight is disappointing, but it’s a significant image and a model of how government and society works: you should always stand up for you rights, and never stop. Freedom is not something that you could take for granted.“
In the video, cops are clad up in full militant/anti-riot gear and are seen physically beating down and brutally attempting to contain the portrayed refugees and protestors inside of the “bemusement” park. The Pussy Riot masked members perform the song behind bars in large cages alluding to their imprisonment in Russia.
Overall, the video is very dark and extremely intense in nature—it denotes themes of rioting, chaos, rebellion, and a serious clash of ideals. The video also reminds American viewers of the many race-fueled riots in the US in the past few years which results in the unfortunate militant action of the police. One is certainly left feeling uneasy about the refugee crisis after watching the video, which is exactly what Pussy Riot wants. The music video is truly assaulting to the senses, antagonizing, and a big smack in the viewer’s face.
Pussy Riot has been collaborating with a London art group The Connor Brothers described by Hubert Weinstein to “explore the boundary between fiction and reality, and in doing so open up a psychological space in which previously unimaginable possibilities suddenly become plausible realities. As a result the world becomes a larger and more magical place”. The Connor Brothers have started the NGO “Refugee Response Foundation” to help refugees in Calais, France. Members of Pussy Riot will collaborate with The Connor Brothers to build shelters for refugees in Calais in response to the growing housing crisis. The architecture department of Cambridge University will assist with the project as well.
In addition to this collaboration and housing project, Pussy Riot will be releasing a lot darker, electronic political music. “We are planning to release a lot of disturbing videos next year”, Tolokonnikova informs. “We hope that you will not like them.”
“The time of grief for the dead should not become a time when we betray the belief of hundreds of thousands in the humaneness of the European world. Our grief should not teach us to aim for revenge, war and hate. It should teach us to help and show real compassion to each other.”
I personally am looking forward to what Pussy Riot has in store. In light of recent events in the US regarding refugees, I feel the group has important things to say on how hypocritical many people and governments in the world have been in regards to the refugee crisis, and Pussy Riot is calling on everyone to wake up and see that refugees are people in need.
Cage me in cage me out Refugees in, nazis out Governments here should feel the shame Fucking liars, you're to blame Pussy Riot scorns the people of the Western world who are not accepting of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim people trying to escape the terror they face in their home countries. The group warns that the very people who are trying to escape ISIS might actually join it in the end “being embittered and disappointed in the good will of European states”. We should not aim for revenge, war, and hate, but compassion, love, and empathy for the many people who are suffering. We should not meet them with closed arms, islamophobia, and hate, because that is not what the modern Western world stands for, right?