I’ve been milling over this for quite a long time, and reading Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s article a few days ago on her living and working conditions at the penal colony where she is seeing out her 2 year sentence has brought up some things for me.
My grandfather, a quiet peaceful geologist was faced with a decision when in 1956 the Soviet Union rolled into Hungary with their tanks to squash and silence the grass roots uprising turned revolution against communism. To stay and make a stance, or to take his family to a country where if he so wished he could study rocks all day long or protest against a government he did not stand behind without fear of prosecution…. or death. My gratitude to him and his decision to
immigrate to Canada runs deep through every fibre of my being. Do I believe he should have stayed and fought for his country? No. I empathise with his desire for a way of life that he felt he could not have there.
Because of this opportunity, I was raised by a family and most importantly by a mother who instilled in me the importance and appreciation of art in all its forms, along with the belief that I have the freedom to express my self in which ever way I choose (as long as I am not hurting others).
With this freedom I was granted am able to I admire, respect and am very proud of Pussy Riot. The freedoms I am afforded are not granted to them and many other women and people around the world. To express themselves in the manner that they have is a form of bravery few people will ever achieve.
I am a product of my Italian roots, I am a product of my Hungarian roots
And I am so grateful to have lived and experienced first hand these two cultures. But most importantly I am a product of my Canadian immigrant roots.
These women are a beautiful product of their families, country and roots.
Where our paths cross is in the belief that, as my dear friend Aimée Neat says “Art can change the world!!!”
I am so gratefully fortunate to be able to travel the world, touching, feeling, seeing and experiencing different things. All of which I hope to create and contribute back into my community through all facets of art. That is what I feel I can contribute.
I am eternally grateful to these women for what they have contributed to the world, to their country and to their community.
A toast to revolution! To avoid progression is to regress!