“The United States would like to discuss the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, particularly focusing on artistic expression and creativity,” said the American Ambassador Keith Harper in a statement at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. He continued:
“Artistic expression and creativity as a form of freedom of expression is fundamental to the development of vibrant cultures and the functioning of democratic societies. Artistic expression has given us some of the great social commentary on humanity and the human condition.”
We are a richer human race for having the genius of Shakespeare, Shostakovich, Rumi, Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Frida Kahlo, Chinua Achebe, and Nadine Gordimer – just to name a few. Today, contemporary artists like Ai Weiwei and Salif Keita are inspiring and challenging us.
The right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression, is enshrined under article 19 of the ICCPR. States Parties to the ICESCR recognize the right, under Article 15, to benefit from the protection of interests resulting from one’s artistic production. Artistic expression is critical to the human spirit.
At HRC-23, we welcomed the report by the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, which addressed the right to freedom of expression and creativity.
Artistic expressions and creations have come under particular attack because they convey specific messages and articulate symbolic values in a powerful way. A satirist provoking laughter and derision is as powerful as a writer urging change.
It is little wonder that dictators seek to silence art.
Freedom of opinion and expression is enshrined in the UDHR and the ICCPR, and the United States defends this right vigorously wherever it is threatened. Likewise, the United States takes seriously any threats to the right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression, and we look forward to engaging on this issue further.”
The statement of American ambassador Keith Harper about artistic expression and creativity as a form of freedom of expression, seems to be directed to the nation his country considers an “enemy”: Russia, as well as all the promotion to bring a punk duo of anti-Putin lousy performers to the spotlight.
Pussy Rioters would be arrested in any civilized place if they do what they habitually do in Putin’s face.
Wikipedia entry for Pussy Riot reads:
“They stage unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. Their lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Unauthorized, provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, huh? That surely is a democratic way to express opposition to “dictator” Putin. I suppose that if Pussy Riot did unauthorized guerrilla performances in unusual public places like an airport, they would meet worse fate States side.
A bunch of mal-eleve’s that managed to get the New YorkTimes to give them a forum for venting their angst for President Vladimir Putin.
The Pussy Riot may be a legitimate protest. Still the amount of publicity it receives in the press is exaggerated [now we understand why]. Is it just gloating about Russia’s and Putin’s problems? One wonders….
Now it is Putin’s fault that the games are safe from the terrorists who made it known to everyone that it is their plan to disrupt the Olympic games by killing the athletes and visitors? Initially there were multiple complains that the games are not secured enough. Now, they are too secured??? I guess for some people who only want to see Russia in the negative light, there is no way to please them. Also, remember what the president of the IOC said during the opening ceremony. Don’t play politics on the backs of the athletes who came here to compete. It is their time to be in the spotlight.
A few voices here aired skepticism regarding the authenticity of the violence apparently directed against these women by a video. But the video attributed to the AP and posted on YouTube doesn’t look staged to this skeptic.
Again, the Times didn’t do some fact-checking on this incident and reported back to us so we can know whether President Putin is indeed sending out thugs to beat up angry women with an attitude?
If there is a ban, live with it. There are bans on what people can do in and around the White House or the Capitol building. If you want to make a political speech about LGBT issues, do it where such expressions are welcome and tolerated.
If you need to protest, if your argument is valid and strong, you would not need to piggy back on the Olympics or any other venue. And please, if you want to be taken seriously, do not produce an obvious video lie. Horsewhips? Really? How gullible does the media think we are?
It is amusing that Pussy Riot received so much attention in the past. At present time who remembers them? Their magazine is totally ignored.
Every society has its malcontents. But they can’t be allowed to disrupt the rights of millions to enjoy the games. Olympics are all about sports. It is fair to athletes who prepare hard to perform their best and enjoy a moment of glory and satisfaction that hard work has paid off. Pussy Riot has no right to disturb the games, nullify all the hard work and rob them of chance to show their skills and athleticism.
The games are for two weeks in 4 years. There will be 206 weeks for politics.
If you have only singled out Sochi, then you protest in vain. Did you watch the Beijing Olympics? The government cleared the city of homeless migrant workers, who worked for their daily rice bowl slaving 24/7. Did you watch the Salt Lake City Games? The local chairman at the time primed his pockets to lead a future presidential campaign, with “binders full of women.”
No Olympics in the last decades, given the cost to bid and then build the arenas, is a fair business deal. Much of it is based on baksheesh and creates graft, like in most nations of the world. And yet, I can’t help but support the athletes. So I watch.
You have a right to an opinion, to criticized and explain your agenda. But you staged the Cossack Whipping Scene as part of the music video you were making, which came out immediately with whip-clips intercut. It was very, very unconvincing, and all you really demonstrated was the enormous gullibility of the Western media.
Interesting. I just watched it, and the Cossacks paid no attention to the cameras, which seems odd.
Enough with the rambling rants of wannabe revolutionaries and Baby Boomers hungry to show their counterculture credentials, lousy performers who can’t sing disrespecting an Orthodox Church, and others intent on despoiling the games with in your face servings of their political views on an unwilling Russian public. The Olympic Games are the opportunity for the world’s athletes to strut their stuff in an atmosphere of sportsmanship; it should not be used as a political platform. So you don’t like President Vladimir Putin but he is trying to showcase Russia like any head of state hosting the games. Not many people outside of Germany liked Hitler but athletes showed up at Munich in 1936 and debunked the myth of Teutonic racial superiority by successfully competing at the games. This is how you bring foster pride for your country.
The pair flew into Berlin Monday after visiting New York to promote their “new prison rights foundation”, where they played a gig with Madonna(!). Appearing at a short press conference in Berlin, they said they have received “several offers” for “film projects” that were never confirmed. The duo couldn’t contain their happiness for the supposedly offers of a Hollywood movie that never materialized. Tolonnikova stated that the movie would be something like “Star Wars.” Brainy huh?
They also announced they had no plans to run for president themselves(!), but said they might seek elected office in Moscow, where they live. The two said they would consider working with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s wealthiest man, released a few days before they were after serving most of his 10-year sentence for theft and fraud. From lousy performers with Hollywood dreams to politicians…
The duo said their collective Pussy Riot is not a band, that they don’t know how to sing, but they can scream which is what is needed to deliver their message to Putin and his supporters. In a red carpet?
These bogus activists need to be taken to the Guantanamo prison and introduced to the many prisoners who are kept in solitude, without a trial date, and forced to wear masks so they can’t see what’s around them.
These pseudo intellectuals took part in an event to read a list of academic quotes to make believe they can save the world from President Putin. They have deceived many people into thinking Pussy Riot is “changing the people,” and want to run for office in Moscow.
Any person, who, at being 8 months pregnant, performs a multiple partner full intercourse orgy in public needs to see a psychiatrist immediately before she rejoins society. Needless to say your “artistic expression”, the Vaginal Liberation of Food. The only thing Pussy Riot is exposing is themselves advertising a delusional agenda that “sideshow” Western musicians and actors to glom onto the spotlight
Prof Mark Levine at UC Irvine, hit the nail on the head in his essay about Pussy Riot. “There are hundreds of artists who perform under threat to their freedom and lives, who also deserve our solidarity.” Levine correctly points out “Western artists can and should support their Russian comrades. But the support received by Pussy Riot is sadly an aberration.”
» Mission of the United States in Geneva, Switzerland – 13 March 2015:
Freedom of Expression, Including Artistic Expression, is a Right Enshrined in ICCPR
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council as delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper.