Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Elton John: Russia

There was a lot of speculation about whether I would go to Russia this year. Many people outside the country thought I should boycott Russia because of its new homophobic legislation. Others said I must go to challenge the government.

I decided in the end to be guided by what Russian people wanted me to do. The message, from even the most marginalised Russian groups we work with at the Elton John AIDS Foundation, was "please come". If you don't come, Aids workers and LGBT activists told us, we will feel isolated. We will miss having your voice in our debate. It might be interpreted that you don't care. Or we may be blamed for keeping you away...

Following Elton’s recent trip to Russia to perform in Kazan and Moscow, where he made a personal statement from the stage, Elton shares his thoughts and motivation with supporters of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has given over £1.3m to programmes in Russia since 2000. On 6th and 7th December, Elton travelled to Russia to perform concerts in Moscow and Kazan. He took the opportunity to meet many in the HIV and LGBT sector, including Foundation grantees...

Well done, mate.

PS Fagburn has kinda given up on checking right-wing goons telling lies about Russia, but this piece on Prospect by la-la Nancy Goldstein is something of a classic of the kind. I've asked her if she can back up any of her barking claims - it starts with her claiming there is no free press in Russia, then goes rapidly downhill - thus far, no reply.
Choo choo - here comes the mad train!

1 comment:

  1. I like what sophie eliis bexy has to say in this:

    Does her popularity in Russia mean that she often gets asked about her political stance on its controversial “current affairs”? “No, I don’t, actually – but I am more than happy to talk about it. It’s a funny thing, really, because I think, in general, my experience of going somewhere like Moscow has been that the quality of life for the average Muscovite is pretty good and there’s a lot of people who don’t want to rock the boat because day-to-day living for most people living there has improved hugely, and the city is looking better than it ever has. But, obviously, looking at the bigger picture, there’s some truly alarming developments with the treatment of gay people there, which is just shocking. You can’t believe that this is going on in this day and age. I feel when I’m there – I feel so happy that there are gay people coming to my gigs and smiling and enjoying themselves – because I’m aware that there are not many places where that community can congregate and can be open. Obviously this doesn’t change anything in the political landscape, but it’s just very nice for me to have that, on a very basic one-to-one level with the people who are in the front row of my concerts”.

    I mean also how upsetting was saying summat about maybe if u are in a homophobic ountry to support ur gay fans then maybe charging em is not ok but i disagree cos duh if ya wanna make money as an artist you need to charge people wherever they are and the idea of not boycotting a country is saying no to denying ur possibly gay fans the chance to see u perfomr... not treating any gig u do there as a live aid show