Pussy Riot Release Haunting New Song in Honor of Eric Garner

Russian punk band and political activists Pussy Riot released their first English song on February 18. It is dedicated to Eric Garner and titled I Can’t Breathe. The song’s video shows Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina being buried alive dressed in the uniform of Russia’s OMON riot police.

In a statement published on their YouTube page, Pussy Riot condemn police brutality: “This song is for Eric and for all those from Russia to America and around the globe who suffer from state terror—killed, choked, perished because of war and state sponsored violence of all kinds—for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change. We stand in solidarity.”

Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD officers on Staten Island last July, repeated the words “I can’t breathe” eleven times before his death. However, it also protests against Putin’s covert war in Ukraine. Russian military who die in the conflict are buried secretly at night, as the Kremlin officially denies that its army is fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Starkly different to their otherwise aggressive punk song-writing, the two musicians refer to the single as an “industrial ballad.” The song was written in collaboration with other musicians, such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and Andrew Wyatt of Swedish electro outfit Miike Snow.

Legendary New York punk rocker Richard Hell contributed a spoken word section, where he reads Garner’s last words taken from the video that captured the incident with the police.

 


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share