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“Even though they put us in jail, we have not lost”

”Even though they put us in jail, we have not lost”

– about art as a political statement and the freedom of speech in Russia.

What is happening in Russia? Is the country in the process of obtaining a new, authoritarian state ideology, with the church taking the place of the party? The Pussy Riot affair is only one among many attacks on the freedom of speech and artistic freedom in the country.

Oslo World Music Festival is the initiator and arranger of this seminar, in cooperation with the Nobel Peace Center, Amnesty International and Norwegian P.E.N.


Peter Normann Waage – Norwegian author who has published a number of books on cultural history and politics. He is one of our most prominent experts on Russia, and a board member of Norwegian P.E.N.



16.30: Doors open

17.00 -18.45 – Part one – Freedom of speech in Russia

Alexander Cheparukhin – artistic director, activist, musician and producer. He has had three main careers: environmentalist, journalist and music producer. He was the one who succeeded in enlisting international music celebrities as Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill in support of the Free Pussy Riot campaign. On the 21st of October 2012 he recieved the honourable Womex Professional Excellence Award.

Ksenia Sobchak – Known as “Russia’s Paris Hilton”. Daughter of the politician Anatoly Sobchak, she is one of the most famous TV stars in Russia. She has changed from a firm pro-Putin stance to become one of the powerful voices of the protest movement.

Ilya Yashin – one of the key leaders of the Russian political movement Solidarnost. One of the brightest opposition figures in Russia, the only “professional activist” of the panel.


18.45-19.15: Break, with an open bar


19.15-21.00: Part 2 – About art as a political statement and the importance of international participation.

Yozh – member of Pussy Riot, artist, film director and feminist. Involved in projects connected with problems in education, health protection, prison system, gender rights, women’s rights, immigrants’ right. Has participated in several Pussy Riot stunts.

Artemy Troitsky – Russian journalist, music critic, concert promoter, political observer, radio and TV host, critic of Putin’s regime, and an academic who has taught classes on music journalism at Moscow State University. In 1988 he was described in the New York Times as “the leading Soviet rock critic”.

John Peder Egenæs – Secretary General of Amnesty International in Norway. Has worked for Amnesty since 1990, including several foreign missions. He was information manager before he became Amnesty’s secretary general in April 2007.

Katya Samutsevich (recently released from jail), member of Pussy Riot. She is ready to speak without balaclava from Moscow.

Free entrance. Register by sending email to

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