Patti Smith and David Lynch discuss Pussy Riot in BBC Newsnight interview – watch

The pair also talk 'Twin Peaks' and 'Blue Velvet'

Patti Smith praised Pussy Riot during a talk with renowned director-come-musician David Lynch at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.

The discussion was recorded for BBC Newsnight‘s ‘Encounters’ series, with topics ranging from the influence of Bobby Vinton’s 1963 hit ‘Blue Velvet’ on Lynch’s film of the same name, seeing Jerry Garcia’s ghost, liking to ‘”bite” paintings, as well as ‘Twin Peaks’, which Smith says “reconnected [her] to the world and art”.

A highlight came when the pair discussed Russian activists Pussy Riot, who were jailed for almost two years for what they described as a “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin.


“This kind of oppression and misunderstanding goes back to biblical times, taking young girls who have families and have hopes and dreams and putting them in prison for issuing a teenage prayer,” said Smith, who met the two imprisoned members at September’s Riot Fest in Chicago.

“One of the things they were saying to me was ‘Everyone wants us to speak to them but what are we supposed to say?’ I said ‘You should say that we are all you because of our belief system or trying to say something new, or against the church or corporations. We are all potentially in danger. Speak to the younger generation to think for themselves.’ These girls did something absolutely original, they are in my prayers.”

You can watch the full Newsnight segment below:

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