March 24, 2021

Who is Manizha?


Who is Manizha?
Manizha uses her ethnic heritage and femininity to draw inspiration for her work.  MANIZHA | vk.com

Russian-Tajik singer and prospective Eurovision candidate Manizha has released a cryptic and satirical video in an attempt to address her haters by declaring herself made of salt.

How did we get here? It's a long story.

On March 8, Manizha performed her song "Russian Women" on television and, by a national televoting process, earned herself the opportunity to represent Russia on the international stage. Her song, which strongly advocates for the empowerment and support of women, did particularly well given that her performance happened to coincide with International Women's Day

But not everyone was pleased by this topic, or with Manizha's strong work as a feminist activist. The Russian Union of Orthodox Women, in particular, published an open letter demanding a ban be placed on Manizha's song because it was their belief that the lyrics encouraged hatred towards men and does harm to the ideal of the "traditional family." Others have dismissed the singer in thinly veiled xenophobic comments regarding her nationality (even though she has lived in the country since the age of 2). 

It was with these individuals in mind that she created a faux-exposé in which she herself plays a T.V. reporter who covers what is described as the direst catastrophe of the past year (COVID-19 notwithstanding): herself. The report mainly asks, "who is Manizha exactly?" and to answer that question she brings in the "scientist" Veniamin Aleksandrovich to do some research.

Through the extremely scientific process of breaking into Manizha's dwellings while she was asleep and stealing her skeleton, the esteemed scientist was able to conduct some research and come to some startling conclusions. He ultimately decides that Manizha is something much worse than simply not being Russian, she's not even human and is instead composed entirely of salt (perhaps this is a reference to Anna Akhmatova's famous poem about Lot's wife?). 

We still aren't sure what exactly to make of this hilarious video, but we do hope that it makes Manizha's critics take a minute to think about how ridiculous they themselves are being. Or at the very least, confuses the heck out of them.

You can watch the video for yourself here. Maybe you'll understand it better than we did.

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