European Punk Band with Disabilities

autism punk band

Finnish punk rock band, PNK, consists of four members: Kari, Pertti, Sami, and Toni.  They are a very unique quartet because each member has a developmental disability (either Down Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder).

PNK was started in 2009 and the rockers have since released five EP’s and one album. Although they have already made a name for themselves throughout the Scandinavian countries, they are now set to be in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

This annual competition allows each country belonging to the European Broadcast Union to submit one song for a live performance on television. Not only does PNK have a unique lineup, they will also be the first punk band to ever be featured on the program. In essence, they are the first to break down barriers of both music genre and disabled musicians on television. Each member is quite confident in their style of music and hopeful for votes in their favor. They are most looking forward to the mis-pronunciation of their band name. PNK actually stands for Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät.

The band also has a well-known documentary, The Punk Syndrome, which follows their journey from the early days. It is currently available on Vimeo to rent for $1.99. Although the entire 84 minute film is in their native tongue, it includes subtitles in English and other languages as well.

Viewers see the band members laugh, cry, fight, and drink with each other. We see the long hours in the recording studio and the grueling travels while out on tour. Their songs are played with a lot of attitude and pride as they express their issues with society. They also talk about their problems in everyday life such as living in a group home.

In true punk fashion, PNK rebels against all things mainstream. That especially includes the views of the disabled population. They hope that through their songs and personal journey, they will raise disability awareness.

Written by Raiza Belarmino

This entry was posted in Autism Advocacy, Autism Awareness, Autism Education, Autism Events, Autism International, Autism Media Coverage, Autism News, Autism News, Autism Resources, Autism Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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