Bayan (bayantheone) wrote,

Maria Alyokhina's Closing Statement

This trial is illustratory and illuminating. Not once will the authorities blush over it and be ashamed of it. Every stage of it is quintesential of iniquity.

How has this happened that our performance being initially a small and somewhat awkward act has grown into a big disaster? Obviously in a healthy society that is impossible. As a state, Russia has long been akin to an organism ill to its core. And this morbidity explodes with resonance when you scrape a pointing abscess. This morbidity would get first publicly and lingeringly concealed but later would always get resolved through conversation. Behold, this is the form of conversation our authorities are capable of. This trial isn't just a mean grotesque mask, this is a face of conversation with a person in our country.

Often for a conversation about a problem on the public level an impetus incident is required. And it's interesting that our incident is depersonalized to begin with. Because speaking about Putin, we first of all mean not Vladimir Putin, but Putin as a system created by him. The vertical power structure, where all governing is being carried out almost manually. And in this vertical power structure public opinion is completely disregarded. And what bothers me the most, is disregard for the opinion of the younger generations. In our opinion the ineffectiveness of this type of government gets revealed in almost everything.

And here, in my closing statement, I'd like to shortly describe my firsthand experience of clash with this system.

The education, from which the establishment of a person in a society begins, actually ignores the person's individuality. A personalized approach isn't applied, studies of culture, philosophy and basic principles of civil society are lacking. Officially these subjects are present in the curriculum but the form of their study follows the Soviet pattern. As a result we witness marginalization of modern art in a person's perception, lack of motivation for philosophical thinking, gender stereotyping and making a person's civic awareness take the backseat.

Modern education institutions teach people from their childhood to live automatically, do not introduce key issues appropriate to the age, foster cruelty and intolerance to dissent. From the childhood a person forsakes his liberties.

I have experience of visiting psychiatric clinic for minors. And I say with certainty, that any teenager exhibiting a degree of dissent can find himself in such institution. Part of the patients come from orphanages. And in our country psychiatric hospitalization of a kid who tried to run away from orphanage, treatment with powerful tranquilizers, such as Aminasine, used on Soviet dissenters in the 70's, is regarded as a norm. This is especially dramatic due to general punitive slant and lack of psychological aid as such. Entire communication with children there is based on exploitation of the sense of fear and their enforced submission. As a result, the level of their cruelty grows manyfold. Many kids there are illiterate, but nobody attempts to fight this. To the contrary, the rinsings of motivation for development get put off. A person clams up and stops trusting the world.

I'd like to note, that such way of growing up apparently impedes the realization of inner freedom, and religious freedom as well, and unfortunately it's a mass phenomenon. The consequence of this process is the ontological, existential submissiveness within socialization. This transition or breaking point if judged from the Christian culture standpoint is notable by the fact that meanings and symbols, as we see, are being turned around. To wit humility, one of Christian principal notions, is existentially understood not as a way of purification, empowerment and eventual deliverance of the human, but in contrast as a way of his enslavement. Quoting Nikolai Berdyaev we may say that "ontology of humility is the ontology of God's slaves and not God's children."

When I was organizing ecological movement, I finally developed a priority of inner freedom as a basis for action. And also the importance of action in itself. It still bewilders me that in our country a mass of a few thousands people is required for putting a stop to iniquity of one or a handful of officials. I'd like to note that our trial is an illuminating confirmation of that. A mass of thousands of people all around the world is required for proving the obvious, that all three of us are innocent. We're innocent, the entire world says that! It's being said in concerts, in the Internet, the whole world says that in the press! It's being said in the parliament. British prime minister greets our president speaking not about the Olympics, but asking why three innocent girls are jailed. That's a shame!

What's more surprising is that people don't believe they can in any way affect the authorities. During pickets and rallies, when I was collecting signatures and organizing their collection, I was asked by many people, and they asked that with genuine surprise, what they have to do with the only Russian natural reserve or relict juniper in the Krasnodar region, with that small patch. Why they should be concerned that wife of our prime-minister Dmitri Medvedev plans to build there a residency and destroy it. These people... This is another confirmation, that people in our country stopped sensing ownership over their land. They stopped seeing themselves as citizens. They see themselves simply as robotic masses. They don't even feel they own a forest next to their house. I doubt they realize that their very house belongs to them. Because if an excavator comes to their driveway and they're told they need to evacuate, that their house should unfortunately be demolished to make space for a residency of an official, they will obediently pack up and go out to the street. And in the street they will sit until the authorities tell them what to do next. They're totally evertebrate. That's very sad.

I've been locked up for almost half a year and I realized that prison is Russia in miniature. For example the management is the same vertical power structure, where all decision making occurs through a direct involvement of the chief. Horizontal distribution of duties, which would make everybody's life considerably easier, is non-existent. Personal initiative is non-existent either. Snitching and mutual suspiciousness flourish. In the detention facility, as in our country, everything is aimed at depersonalization of a human being, reducing it to a function, whether it's a function of a worker or a prisoner. Strict limits of the daily schedule, which gets used to quickly, are akin to the life program imposed on a person from the birthday. Within these limits people start to appreciate trivial things. In prison that would be for example a table sheet or plastic dishware, which can only be gotten through a personal approval of the chief. In the outside life it's the status in society, which people hold dearly, something I have been fascinated with all my life.

Another point is the perception of this order as a show, which in reality turns out to be chaos. An orderly institution on the outside, inside it reveals total disorganization and lack of optimization of most processes. Obviously it doesn't help management. To the contrary, people start to feel increasingly lost in time and space. A person, as everywhere in the country, doesn't know whom to address his question. Therefore he addresses it to the chief of detention facility. On the outside this chief is Putin. It can be said that we're against Putin's chaos which is only called 'regime' formally.

Depicting in our lyric a collective image of the system, where in our opinion mutation of almost all institutions is taking place while their exterior is kept intact, and where civil society so dear to us is being destroyed, we don't make direct statement. We only use the form of direct statement as means of artistic expression. The only thing identical is the motivation. Our motivation is identical to motivation of direct statement. It's more eloquently expressed in the words of the Gospel "For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" I, and all of us, sincerely believe that it will be opened for us. But alas so far the bars are closed on us. That's very weird, that in their reaction to our actions, the authorities totally disregard the historical background of expression of dissent.

"Poor is the country, where plain honesty is perceived as heroism at best and as a psychiatric disorder at worst" - wrote in the 70's dissident Bukovsky. Not so much time has passed since those days, but it appears as if neither the Great Terror nor the resistance did ever occur. I think that we're accused by forgetful people.

"Many of them said, "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?" " These words belong to Jews accusing Jesus Christ of blasphemy. "The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy" (John 10:33) It's interesting that it's this verse that Russian Orthodox Church uses to express its opinion about blasphemy. This opinion is committed to paper and added to the materials of our criminal case. Expressing this opinion Russian Orthodox Church refers to it as to a static religious truth. Gospel is no longer understood as revelation, which it was initially, but as a kind of solid block which can be torn up to quotations and tuck anywhere, into any document, used for any purpose. Russian Orthodox Church didn't even bother to examine the context in which the word 'blasphemy' is used, that in this case it is applied to Jesus Christ himself.

I think religious truth should not be static, that understanding of immanent ways of spiritual development, human adversities, his dualism, his sejunction is required, that all these experiences are essential for development, that only through these experiences a human can achieve something and keep achieving, that religious truth is a process and not accomplishment which can be tuck anywhere. And all these things I mentioned, all these processes are reflected upon in art and philosophy, modern art included. An artistic setting can and in my view must contain inner conflict. And I'm very annoyed by the phrase 'so called' the prosecution uses in modern art's regard.

I'd like to point out, that during the trial over the poet Brodsky, exactly the same figure of speech was used. His poetry was labelled as 'so called poetry' and the witnesses never read it. Just as some of our witnesses weren't the eyewitnesses of the event, but watched a video in the Internet.

Our apologies are probably also labelled as 'so called' in the collective chapter of the indictment, although it's insulting and causes me moral damage and emotional trauma. Because our apologies were sincere. I'm so sorry that after so many words uttered you still don't understand them. Or are you being cunning calling our apology insincere? I don't understand what else you want to hear. For me it's this very trial which is 'so called'. And I'm not scared of you. I'm not afraid of lies and sham, poorly decorated lies in the verdict of this so called court, because you only can deprive me of so called freedom. This is the only type of freedom existing in Russian Federation. My inner freedom no one can take from me. It lives and will live on through the word, thanks to openness, when thousands of people will read it and hear. This freedom persists with each concerned person, who hears us in this country. With everybody who found pieces of this trial in themselves, as once did Franz Kafka and Guy Debord. I believe that it's honesty and openness, thirst for truth which will make us a little freer.

We will see this.

Tags: pussy riot, активизм, акционизм, оппозиция, права человека, свобода слова, суд, феминизм

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