Ukrainian flag
2020 / 2022 / March 2022

You thought this was made for the club – no way!

Bad Apples by Pussy Riot

Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

When you see the news reports of the Ukrainian people, if you are anything like me, you probably feel a mixture of things; firstly, horrified at their situation; secondly, inspired by their resolve, and thirdly, helpless to do anything. As I’ve spent time this week thinking about the Ukraine it has reminded me of going to see Pussy Riot at Greenbelt several years ago.

For those of you who don’t know, Pussy Riot are a Russian, feminist, anti-Putin, punk protest band / art collective. They became widely known when they were arrested for an anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral and were sentenced to imprisonment. This week we will consider another song by Pussy Riot, Bad Apples with the opening verse:

You thought that I just made this for the club – No way! I got this microphone to wake you up – and say! That I can do just what I want right here – today! And I don’t hear those sirens anyway – Okay!

When I saw Pussy Riot at the Greenbelt festival, I was awe inspired by their resolve and bravery to do what they could in a dangerous and challenging political situation to speak about issues impacting on women and LGBTQI+ people. This is something that comes across in the lyrics to this week’s song.

They may not be soldiers or politicians, but as artists they can use their art to challenge and respond to situations of injustice. All this requires is for them to do what they can do and not allow the authorities (I don’t hear the sirens anyway) to prevent them from action.

It’s a message which has come across time and again this week. There has been calls for hackers to hack, footballers to raise the profile of others, sports bodies to revoke sporting opportunities and traders to stop trading.

When wanting to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people (and likewise the people of Russia who will also suffer at the decisions made by Putin) we may so easily feel helpless and distant. Indeed, these may be feelings all too familiar with us in countless situations we might face in life. Yet, as this song highlights, there is always a response we can make. That response is to do what is available to us, where we are, and with our skills and opportunities. Change always starts with us simply playing the role we can play and encouraging others to do the same.

Click here to book a coaching session with the author of Retune, Dr Dave Wood.

Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.