Watch The Video For “Refugees In,” Pussy Riot’s Haunting New Anthem And Call To Arms

No strangers to political controversy, Pussy Riot continues to use their musical platform for relevant and often brutally honest discourse, this time honing in on Europe’s stringent migration policies. Their latest music video, for the song “Refugees In,” was shot and premiered in Banksy’s Dismaland, where it reveals itself as a both visually and audibly haunting dedication to refugees and the migration crisis at large.

As can be seen above, the video interweaves images of the band performing inside a cage, escalating moments of police brutality, and brief glimpses of a moonlit Dismaland, all collapsing into a final explosion shot of fireworks and cops.

The continuous refrain sings: “Cage me in and cage me out. Refugees in, Nazis out. Governments here should feel the shame, fucking liars, you are to blame.” As a way of expanding on their stance, Pussy Riot singer Nadya Tolokonnikova penned an essay over at the Guardian urging people both to unite, and take individual action to assist in the refugee crisis, she states there is simply too much urgency, too many lives at stake for us to wait for slow and corrupt leaders to open doors.

One example of the effects of brutal migration policies is the case of Khasan Aman Ando and his family, who have been in limbo at the Moscow airport for nearly two months. Fleeing from Iraq, where ISIS had mobbed their home, the Ando family has been forced to wait in the Sheremetyevo airport for 60 days while their application for asylum is being “processed and considered.” If they leave the airport, they are automatically denied and captured for illegally crossing the border. This story presents just one ripple in the storm of need, and Russia’s closed borders mirror and parallel many countries in Europe (and sadly, the mindsets of many people in the US).

As stated in her article and more expressively in Pussy Riot’s music, Tolkonnikova urges people to not let ourselves be consumed with fear in the face of this growing crisis, but rather to use it as a call to arms. Let this be a chance to utilize our technology and global networking (social media included) as a tool for solidarity. What are some ways we can do this? Form online groups to brainstorm: reach out to people (who have internet access) in the middle of conflict, send supplies, raise money, form networks that will host incoming refugees, make phone calls and send letters to our local and federal politicians combating the xenophobic policies being considered.

I think we can all take a page from Pussy Riot’s book in not allowing the raging despair to swallow us up, or bury us underneath inaction. But rather, let’s allow it to fuel us into a domino-effect of small and radical actions. All too often the viral consumption of tragedy causes us to misdirect anger at ourselves or our friends for our privileges, ignorance and culpability. But sadly, this tendency to shake aimless fists too often doesn’t channel the energy into palpable creative or political action. Most of us won’t be singers in a globally known Russian punk tri-fecta, but we can still absorb the call to arms and channel our anger into chaotic solidarity, rather than pure chaos.

If you’re still feeling helpless as to where to start: here is a list of five organizations to look into. If nothing else, you can tilt your train of thought by watching “Refugees In.”

[Guardian]