Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MIRA DUMA on Pussy Riot:
These stupid girls...what they did was triple the negativity

Photo by Phil Oh

Miroslava Duma, founder of Buro 24/7 and style blog superstar whose ears must be burning just from the amount of attention she's garnered here on The Migrant Bookclub, was just interviewed by Style.com on Russia's fashion moment we seem to be in right now. She is charmingly self-deprecating– You know how fashion is—there’s always got to be a new look, a new idea, a new story–and goes on to regurgitate her now familiar statement about Russia being so closed off and isolated during Communism and Russians' "discovery" of oil in the early 90s.

I have expressed my disapproval over this overly simplistic view of art and style during Communism before, so I won't go there this time. Because what really irked me about this particular interview is Miroslava's quite outrageous statement over the Pussy Riot sentencing:
My opinion is that these are very stupid girls. OK, so they have problems with the president—no president is perfect. But what did they change? Who did they help? How did they improve the situation in Russia? All they did was start an argument. And offend and humiliate people who believe in God. That’s it. I do a lot of charity work, there are many orphans in Russia who need help, so it’s not like all I see is rich people and fashion. I know there are things in this country that could be better. But this…Ugh. You know, people who say, oh, Pussy Riot is so great—I feel like, they don’t know what’s happening in Russia, they don’t know how Russians think, what they’ve experienced. I’d love to ask some of these people, who love Pussy Riot, if they can tell me anything else—any single thing—about the political situation in Russia today. I’d be very surprised if many people took the time to find out more about what’s happening.
Now, I am really past my rah-rah Free Pussy Riot rage at this point. Not because I don't respect Pussy Riot or have lost interest in their cause but, to the contrary, out of respect for their work and out of concern that I was becoming too comfortable in my own slacktivism. BUT, to suggest that people are supportive of their cause ONLY because they don't understand Russia or the way Russian people think, is precisely the sort of argument that allows Putin to go about his business unmoved. Contrary to what Churchill said, Russia is NOT a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Dear Mira, suppressing political opposition is neither uncommon nor especially difficult to understand. Defending it is quite a different issue.

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When I read an interview like this I keep shaking my head because I am largely enthusiastic about the current palpable increase in interest in Russia and Eastern Europe. I am also VERY intrigued by what I see as a recent trend to search for depth and substance in fashion reporting. I know that there is thought behind style and that's why I am taking the time to write this. But this particular attempt at substance seems so pathetic. You know enough to ask about her opinion on Pussy Riot but don't think to mention that her father is Vasily Duma– a Russian Senator who, according to Novaya Gazeta, has been "sitting on the [oil] pipe since 1992"?!

More from the Style.com interview:
Everyone in Russia has an opinion. [Sighs.] Look, I love America. Everyone’s so kind and positive. They don’t know what it’s like in Russia—I mean, this is a silly example, but if you look at comments on street-style blogs, in Russia it’s all ugly. There’s a lot of envy. But in the States, you know, there’s some of that but there’s also people making compliments. You never get a compliment in Russia. So you have to understand with these girls, these stupid girls, that what they did was triple the negativity.

The levels of irony... and the ways in which my largely "negative" piece here gets implicated... I know. I just couldn't help it.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't she adorable. Her dress is missing only the epaulettes with insignias of the national security.

    ReplyDelete

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