News \

Pussy Riot Pay Tribute to Eric Garner With Powerful ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Video

Masha and Nadya team with Richard Hell, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner, Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt, and more in the poignant clip

Pussy Riot — the liberationist punk protest duo of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who, in 2012, were sent to prison in Russia after performing “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior — have released a music video for their first song sung in English. Titled “I Can’t Breathe,” the track and its clip was inspired by the murder of Eric Garner, who died in Staten Island last July because a police officer put him in a chokehold. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina dedicated the video to Garner and all those “who suffer from state terror — killed, choked, perished because of war and police violence — to political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change.” 

Recorded in New York City, “I Can’t Breathe” features assistance from a number of names, both Russian and American: The song itself was produced by Pussy Riot and members of Russian bands the Jack Wood and Scofferlane; the track features Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner on bass and piano, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt on electronics, and Shazad Ismaily on drums. The track’s most poignant spot, however, comes from punk legend Richard Hell, who recites Garner’s dying words at the song’s conclusion. 

As for the visuals, a single-take project filmed in Moscow, Nadya and Masha are being buried alive in riot police uniforms reading “OMOH” (a sign which, in Russia, signal the presence of “Mafia Killers”). The troupe also filmed a second video that was helmed by Maxim Pozdorovkin (also the director of the Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer), which pieces together footage from the “I Can’t Breathe” protests in New York. Watch “I Can’t Breathe” above, and watch its accompanying footage below.