Pussy Riot Literally Buried Alive In New Video

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Pussy Riot Literally Buried Alive In New Video

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Cropped screenshot from video for "I Can't Breathe"

Pussy Riot just delivered what might be the biggest political statement of the year. And if anything, that's an understatement.

By way of a new electronic "industrial ballad" and pair of videos, the Russian musicians and political activists make a bold statement on the assault of freedom. The song is a direct reference to the Eric Garner incident, but also a metaphor for broader issues in Russia and around the world.

"'I can't breathe' -- these are the last words of Eric Garner. Those words are his, but we hope they can also stand for us and for many around the world, for all who can't breathe because authorities act with impunity and feel invincible and above the law in using power to humiliate, intimidate, hurt, kill and oppress. We've known, on our own skin, what police brutality feels like and we can't be silent on this issue.'" -Pussy Riot via Billboard

The song itself emerged from the actual Eric Garner riots in New York that Pussy Riot was attending. They got together with artists from two different continents to produce the record in the city itself. As described by Pussy Riot themselves, contributors included "Richard Hell (who read out Eric Garner's last words), Jack Wood (vocals), Scofferlane (composition), Nick Zinner (piano and bass) and Andrew Wyatt (beats) spent a whole night recording the song from beginning till the end."

From Pussy Riot's Facebook page: "23 of December 2013 we were released. It was exactly one year ago.
This photo was made in December 2013, we were in our prison uniform."

"We've known, on our own skin, what police brutality feels like and we can't be silent on this issue."

Pussy Riot Literally Buried Alive In New Video

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To convey their message, Pussy Riot decided to be buried alive. The video is disturbing enough, but to give you an idea of how real this was, a cardiologist had to train them before it was shot. And while the video doesn't conclude with any relief, the pair make a point of coming back - albeit an ominous one.

"'I can not breathe' opens our series of anti-war songs... We will continue to talk about the war, the police and speak with antimilitary positions in the following works, which you'll see soon, if nothing unpredictable happens." -Pussy Riot via Billboard

Despite not being American citizens, Pussy Riot says they "can see things happening" because "our eyes are not in our asses."

Pussy Riot has never been shy to speak out, and they were even jailed in Russia for almost two years in 2012 for doing so. The intense video captures the unrivaled bravery and sends a message perhaps stronger than anything of modern times. It's also an amazing example of how important electronic music, and music in general, can be in bringing people together across the world with perhaps not-so-different problems.

Read the full interview on Billboard.

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