The Earthly Policeman


Image: Pussy Riot (via Twitter)

From The New Yorker:

One of Prigov’s iconic creations, present in his poetry and performances, was the image of an ideal policeman, a just and ultimate authority that Pussy Riot’s statement dubbed the Heavenly Policeman. In contrast to the Heavenly Policeman, the statement suggested, stands the earthly policeman. “The Heavenly Policeman will protect a baby in her sleep, while the earthly policeman persecutes political prisoners and jails people for sharing and liking posts on social media.” (I am providing my own translation from the Russian original.)

Pussy Riot became the only people to make a meaningful statement about Russian politics during the World Cup—and it came on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s triumphant meeting with Donald Trump. They also created, on one of the biggest stages in the world, an image of unjust and arbitrary authority, the sort with which a hundred and forty-five million Russians live day to day.

“World Cup 2018: The Moral Clarity of Pussy Riot’s Protest”, Masha Gessen, The New Yorker