Pussy Riot makes the rounds in Norway

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Two members of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot have been making a string of public appearances in Norway recently, at both human rights meetings and cultural events. Now they’ve also had a chat with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, as the annual Bergen International Festival got underway.

Solberg met Nadezjda Tolokonnikova and Maria Aljokhina during the opening of this year’s major cultural festival in Bergen, Festspillene (Bergen International Festival). The two Pussy Riot activists, who were famously jailed after performing a protest concert in a Moscow cathedral two years ago, told TV2 they wanted to speak with Solberg about how Norway can contribute to improving prison conditions in Russia.

They were also on hand to help open Norway’s annual literature festival in Lillehammer, where they spoke about the importance of freedom of expression. “We have literally felt (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s third term in office,” Aljokhina told reporters the week before when they also took part in a symposium at Litteraturhuset in Oslo. Before that, they also made a brief appearance at a human rights seminar in Oslo organized by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Pussy Riot is part of the program at this year’s Festspillene in Bergen, with an exhibit entitled “Pussy vs Putin.” The festival has also attracted a wide range of musicians and other artists as usual. It formally opened in the presence of government ministers, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit on Wednesday, and runs through June 4.

Among Norwegian artists performing are Leif Ove Andsnes and Solveign Kringlebotn, with other events featuring a theatrical performance of a Norwegian children’s story by a troupe from North Korea, and a controversial Danish play about right-wing extremism, based on mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s so-called manifesto. See the full program here (external link).

newsinenglish.no staff