The Right Reasons to Back Pussy Riot

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The Right Reasons to Back Pussy Riot

The real reasons to like Pussy Riot

How many fans of Pussy Riot’s zany “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s erudite and moving closing statement were equally thrilled by her participation, naked and heavily pregnant, in a public orgy at a Moscow museum in 2008? That performance, by the radical art group Voina (Russian for “war”), was meant to illustrate how Russians were abused by their government. Voina had previously set fire to a police car and drew obscene images on a St. Petersburg drawbridge.

Stunts like that would get you arrested just about anywhere, not just in authoritarian Russia. But Pussy Riot and its comrades at Voina come as a full package: You can’t have the fun, pro-democracy, anti-Putin feminism without the incendiary anarchism, extreme sexual provocations, deliberate obscenity and hard-left politics.

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Donagh is the editor of Irish Left Review. Contact Donagh through email: dublinopinionAtgmail.com
 

2 Responses

  1. John Goodwillie

    August 22, 2012 2:18 pm

    What Western country would give two years’ jail for stunts in a church or a museum which caused no physical damage?

  2. B Rand

    August 22, 2012 11:27 pm

    We have repressive tolerance in ‘western’ countries. Aesthetics has gone so haywire in western countries that art experts don’t differentiate between art and non-art. In authoritarian countries like Russia officialdom at a public level asserts boundary lines in the arts and personal morality. I consider the two-year sentence imposed on Pussy Riot to be excessive, but I have no sympathy with their ‘artistic expression’.