Pin It
Pussy Riot “BLACK SNOW”
Pussy Riot “BLACK SNOW”Via YouTube

Pussy Riot confront ‘apocalyptic’ state of Russia in new song

The activist group has unveiled a dynamic video for ‘BLACK SNOW’ and penned a letter to Putin holding him accountable for the country’s pollution

“The acid rain hasn’t fucking stopped since last year / my eyes are being corroded”, sing Pussy Riot in scathing new song “BLACK SNOW”. 

Confronting the damaging effects of pollution and the ‘apocalyptic’ state of northern Russia, the activist group has dropped an ominous visual for the track and shared an open letter to president Vladimir Putin “and his cronies”, holding the government accountable for “intolerable living conditions”.

The track sees Pussy Riot and featured artist MARA 37 defiantly spit over a horror film-like version of the “London Bridge Is Falling Down” tune, while the video sees the group at a power plant wearing gas masks and hazmat suits. Dancing in a wasteland among fires, plastic, and red smoke, Pussy Riot shout: “Black snow over Russia makes us cough with blood / Red water flows in Russian rivers.

The letter – shared on the group’s website – is accompanied by horrifying images of environmental damage in member Nadia Tolokonnikova’s hometown of Norilsk, including rivers running red. “When you leave home in Norilsk, you stick to a scarf,” Tolokonnikova writes, “not only because of a blizzard, but also because sulfur dioxide burns your eyes, nose, mouth and lungs.”

The post describes “bloody rivers, black snow, poisonous garbage and acid rain”, and refers to trees in Norilsk as “black sticks piercing the sky”. Tolokonnikova goes on to discuss the impact this damage is having on residents, revealing their life expectancy is 10 years shorter than in other parts of Russia.

The activist also lists the hazardous materials dumped into the city’s rivers and pumped into the air by mining company Nornickel, including iron, lead, petroleum products, and two million tonnes of sulfur dioxide – an amount that apparently exceeds the emissions of all western European countries. Tolokonnikova also suggests that in some accounts the amount of toxic waste in Norilsk “exceeds even Chernobyl”.

Tolokonnikova concludes by urging the public to take “power and influence into our own hands”, asking people “to behave as if we have already won and live in the clean future Russia”, before expressing support for Greta Thunberg and Fridays For Future.

“BLACK SNOW” is the first release by Pussy Riot since their 2018 World Cup protest, which saw the group arrested multiple times with little explanation. It also comes ahead of their performance at a Planned Parenthood and Yellowhammer Fund benefit in Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday (July 11) in protest against the state’s recent abortion ban. “It’s ridiculous to me that it’s still a question in 2019 whether women can have an abortion”, Tolokonnikova told Agence France Presse earlier this week. “We want to come to Alabama and support women who are in quite a critical and vulnerable position right now.”

Watch “BLACK SNOW” below.