A decade of Russian music videos from 2010 to 2020 – the Calvert Journal


2018 marked a renaissance of political music in Russia. In particular, creative duo IC3PEAK found themselves in the midst of an online media frenzy for their songs about gender, domestic violence, censorship, justice and freedom. In response, the group discovered that most of their shows across the country have been mysteriously canceled, or even stormed by the police for different, supposedly legal reasons.

Some critics claim that IC3PEAK would never have become so popular without the paranoid Russian officials and their apparent ignorance of the Streisand effect. But for thousands of young Russians, the IC3PEAK debacle may have been the first time many have seen the state interfere directly in their lives. This generated kinship, solidarity and, for the group, an almost cult audience.

Today, IC3PEAK is an almost autonomous unit, the duo themselves working on the set design, production, lyrics and music. Inspired by the dark symbolism of Russian folklore and the surreal and haunting imagery of Sergei Parajanov, IC3PEAK creates a spooky fairytale world that is intoxicating and painfully accessible to young Russians hoping for change.

Strashno (scary), 2018

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