Neon Mamacita

An Olympic Punk Prayer

February 9, 2014 by annie

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Back in September of 2012, when we shot these photos, the US was in the midst of a divisive presidential election, the Syrian civil war was just heating up, and Pussy Riot was in prison. A lot was going on, and I wanted say something. But I didn’t quite know how to start or how to get my voice heard. Then I heard about three women who sang a Punk Prayer. And I started singing as well.

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Now I’m watching Russian ice dancers glide and pirouette to Olympic gold. But despite all their beauty and grace, the sweetness of their routine covers a bitter taste in my mouth. It is frightening when a country that is assuming a growing leadership role does so by pursuing a doctrine of conformity, stifling political dissent, artistic expression, and ethnic diversity.

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“Russia looks increasingly like an international clown that is just pretending to be an international king,” says Nina Khrushcheva professor at the New School. But in this day in age, we need world leaders who are neither clowns nor kings- we need rational and creative forward thinkers who represent the world, not only their nation. To his credit, Putin has grown the global profile of his country, elbowing his way into key deals with Syria and Iran. But domestically, his policies criminalize his own people.

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Anyway, I didn’t mean to be so heavy, especially when Sage Kotsenburg and Mark Morris are throwing down sequential triple corks on the slopes. Enjoy the games and go Pussy Riot (and USA!).

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Photographed by Phoebe Streblow

Assisted by Hannah Jayanti

Produced by Annie Shepard

Post production by Annie Shepard

And many thanks Allyson Ross, Julie Hall, and the other girls who made this all possible

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Posted in Neon Mamacita Originals |


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