An interview with Nadya Tolokonnikova of the Collective Pussy Riot

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Pussy Riot
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
Pussy Riot
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States. Alexander Hamilton called the Constitution a “weak and worthless fabric”, certain to be superseded. Luther Martin regarded it as a stab in the back of the goddess of liberty. The most that Madison and the majority of delegates hoped, was that this practical, workable constitution, planned to meet the immediate needs of thirteen states with approximately four million people, would last a generation.

In this interview, Nadya Tolokonnikova founding member of the feminist Russian protest punk rock and performance art collective Pussy Riot spoke at length about government oppression, feminism, Russian censorship of the media, and mass protests.

Tolokonnikova asked in a tweet for feedback about the effect that Pussy Riot has on the world’s attitude toward social justice. To answer Nadya, there can be no understating the value of Pussy Riot.

Pussy Riot’s blasted a warning awakening anti-fascist feminists to the threat of totalitarianism in 2012.

Most Americans were blind to this threat to our country after 233 years of democracy, even after enduring 4 years of Trump.

After all, 81,283,495 Americans who voted for Biden would have never dreamed that there are 74,223,755 fascists within our own borders. And who could have imagined that they would attempt a coup invalidating millions of ballets and our constitution?

My first warning was when Trump ‘kiddingly’ said he wanted to become a dictator. The alarms really went off post-election when Trump laid out an ultimatum that Congress attach an amendment to the annual defense bill which would have put authors like me in prison.

In an article appearing in The New York Times, Tolokonnikova wrote “I’ve been an active part of the anti-authoritarian, feminist, and L.G.B.T.Q. communities since 2007. When I co-founded the activist band Pussy Riot in 2011, I could only dream of a time when feminist and queer communities would thrive in Russia, and when mainstream performers would be involved in our anti-Kremlin rallies.”

Pussy Riot’s 2012 Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior performance of “Virgin Mary, chase Putin away” propelled the collective onto the world stage. As a radical queer follower of Christ who has partaken in many actions in the US, this mother of all protests continues to elicit strong emotions from me to this day.

Заключительные заявления на суде Riot киска | Closing Statement at the Pussy Riot Trial

Putin’s government held a mock trial and sentenced Nadia and Maria Alyokhina to two years each which they served in the worse possible conditions in Siberian gulags.

Nadya continued. “But global activists have achieved so much in recent years. My arrest and imprisonment with another Pussy Riot member in 2012, together with our stubborn refusal to back down after our release in late 2013, helped encourage our fellow artists and musicians to get involved in politics. I’ve learned that, while change may not happen overnight, in time small actions can build to something lasting and profound: One by one, police officers can be reformed or replaced, until the day arrives when the death of an unarmed man, woman or nonbinary person at the hands of law enforcement becomes a thing of the past,” wrote Nadya Tolokonnikova.

And so the fight continues:

We are ALL Pussy Riot! Trans and Punk Folk RISE UP

Pussy Riot arrested and beaten by police in Sochi 30 K’s from the Olympic site

Oct 1st Worldwide Pussy Riot Solidarity Day Кассация по PussyRiot

PUSSY RIOT Releases New Video BURNING PHOTOS Of Putin.

This Pussy Writer Riots Against Putin’s Russian Orthodox Inquisition

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender