Russian DJ and performer Nina Kraviz banned from three music festivals

In another deplorable and undemocratic action by the cultural establishment in the United States and Europe, three music festivals have excluded Russian DJ and performer Nina Kraviz from their events this summer. Kraviz was banned from appearing at the Movement Music Festival in Detroit; the Crave in The Hague, the Netherlands; and PollerWiesen in Dortmund, Germany, on the grounds that she did not sufficiently voice her opposition to the Putin regime’s reactionary invasion of Ukraine.

Kraviz has become the center of a right-wing campaign stoked by the media, including Weather magazine. In mid-May, Weather published an article about the witch hunt essentially targeting the prominent DJ for the attack. Referring to the anti-Russian cultural boycott, the piece called Kraviz “the last artist at the center of this maelstrom”. It had something of the character of a self-fulfilling prophecy. By “naming names” in this way, Weather sought to place Kraviz at “the center of this maelstrom”.

Nina Kraviz, 2012 (Photo credit–Alec Luhn)

The article goes on to claim that the DJ and singer was “arguably the most globally famous Russian pop musician: over the past decade, she has built a fiery following with 1.8 million Instagram followers, performed on the main stage at Coachella and collaborated with the likes of Grimes and St. Vincent. She sits near the center of the global electronic music world and was named Mixmag’s DJ of the Year 2017.

Weather claimed, based on a few memes and images online, that Kraviz had “left a trail of support on social media for Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the war began in February, she posted a vague “peace” message before going silent on social media for months, drawing criticism from those who believe she should use her platform. form as one of Russia’s main cultural exports. »

The hypocrisy, or the “lie of the soul”, if you prefer, is simply colossal. Where were similar demands that American artists use their “platforms” to expose the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries targeted by deadly “liberation” efforts? ” from America ?

Indeed, the various organizers of the festival, no doubt under pressure from governments at different levels and from Ukrainian nationalist forces, allow themselves to become instruments to stir up chauvinism and anti-Russian hatred, poison the political and cultural atmosphere and facilitate the war the impulse of the Biden administration and other Western governments.

None of the three festivals provided an honest account of the decision to exclude Kraviz, or even “explicitly motivated this decision”, as Mixmagthe British electronic dance and clubbing magazine, pointed out. Mixmag noted that “PollerWiesen stated that ‘this decision was made by us following an open dialogue process with all parties involved'”.

Similarly, The Crave wrote, ‘After lengthy and intensive discussions both internally and externally, we have decided that Nina Kraviz will not perform at Crave Festival 2022.’ Movement Detroit, where Kraviz was listed as one of the big names to look forward to, tweeted, “Nina Kraviz can’t play Movement this year.”

Nina Kraviz (album cover, 2012)

Earlier in May, Rotterdam-based Clone Distribution severed ties with Kraviz’s record label, Trip Recordings, citing “different views on ethical and moral issues”.

Clone’s statement regarding Kraviz exemplifies the anti-Russian hysteria that has overtaken significant sections of the wealthy petty bourgeoisie. It combines exaggerations about the impact of the Russian invasion and absolution from the United States and NATO with anti-communism and a generally authoritarian outlook. The statement reads, in part: “In the past, even after the annexation of Crimea, Nina Kraviz has offered several exits that can be considered pro-Putin. Plus, she clearly flirted with CCCP/USSR sentiments on several occasions, when the USSR was a regime that championed the oppression of minorities, marginalized LGBTQ+ communities, a regime that murdered millions of people!

The statement goes on to defame Kraviz as someone who was able to “continue his lifestyle and life as a performer as if nothing had happened, while looting, raping, murdering and destroying a country by his compatriots continue”. .” Clone keeps repeating lines about Kraviz’s “right” to remain silent or to have whatever opinions she might choose before making it clear that she intends to punish her for exercising those rights.

The Movement Music Festival came under direct pressure from a group calling themselves “Ukrainians of Metro Detroit”, which organized a petition on Change.org. The petition demands that Kraviz “speak up for the victims of this war given your platform and millions of fans. Silence only breeds more injustice. Otherwise, the band threatens, “we ask Movement and the City of Detroit to determine whether your past pro-Putin views reflect the values ​​of our community, and to re-evaluate their invitation to welcome you to the city.” They have clearly followed through on their threats.

Kraviz responded to the complaints, writing on Instagram, “As a person, musician and artist, I am deeply moved by what is happening in the world. It is appalling what has become of my country’s relations with Ukraine. I am against all forms of violence. I pray for peace. It pains me to see innocent people die.

She continued, “I am a musician and have never supported politicians or political parties, nor do I plan to do so in the future. I don’t understand politics or the social processes it creates. So I don’t think it’s fair to talk about what’s happening on social media. In my opinion, this could increase the degree of all-consuming hatred and does not help to understand.

Kraviz is still scheduled to perform at CORE Festival in Belgium on May 27-28 and Junction 2 in London on June 18-19.

Responses on social media have been generally hostile to the action taken against Kraviz. Comments posted on the Facebook page of a local Detroit television station included the following:

“Forcing an artist to announce his political position during a war when his homeland has imprisoned vocal opponents and his family members is cruel and unjust. This action does nothing for Ukraine’s support.

“Stop punishing citizens for government actions.”

“Music and sports are the only segments that connect people around the world. Leave them alone.”

“Certainly crushing people who have absolutely nothing to do with the Russian-Ukrainian war will show Putin.”

“She’s an entertainer, not a defense strategist… Come on guys, she’s invading nothing but nightclubs.”

“It’s not fair, she shouldn’t have to share her political views and certainly shouldn’t swear that she supports anyone else’s.”

“What does a Russian DJ in America have to do with Russia and Ukraine? It’s a dumb bullying tactic. She’s not in Russia. It does not invade Ukraine. She plays music to cry out loud.

“Disgusting. Make him risk his life for what…a proxy war that only kills people for profit?”

“I wonder how the United States would react if Russia started building bases and stockpiling nuclear weapons near our borders?

“Anti-Russian hysteria.”

“Put all these Ruskis in internment camps, it will suit Putin.”

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