PUSSY RIOT SPEAKS @ MOMA PS1 – NYC – NOV 2, 2014

pussy riot

Pussy Riot
MoMA PS1 @ VW DOME
November 2nd, 2014 – 4pm

On Sunday, November 2nd at 4pm in the VW Dome at MoMA PS1, the members of feminist punk group Pussy Riot –Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Petya Verzilov — joined MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach in a discussion on the current culture of political oppression in some governments. The event coincides with the exhibition that’s currently on display at MoMA called Zero Tolerance, which features some of the group’s work.

Composed of around a variable group of around 11 females aged 22-33 from Russia, Pussy Riot are known for staging public performances in protest of government policies. Their unauthorized performances in unusual public locations are filmed and edited into music videos and posted on the internet. The dominant themes of their message include feminism and LGBT rights, something that the Russian government has not been supportive of. In addition to the government’s opposition towards the group, Nadya explained on Sunday that the group’s name also encounters some trouble. In Russian, there’s neither a word for riot nor is ‘pussy’ as suggestive as it is in english. “They don’t understand it,”said Nadya. “The Russian propaganda guys on TV try to translate it, and they translate it to ‘Enraged Vaginas.'”

Masha and Nadya were arrested in March of 2012 following a staged performance by five members of the group at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Church officials stopped the performance midway. Their controversial actions prompted worldwide buzz, with some denouncing their actions as extreme and disrespectful, while many rallied to their support. The performance was turned into a video that they titled, “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away.”

We are part of this political battle that is currently going on in Russia,” said Nadya. “And we, the members of the political opposition often have a saying: ‘Why leave when we would rather have Putin leave?’ We honestly want Putin and his cronies to get the hell out of our country and for it to become a different place…and we believe we have the power to make that happen.”

Pussy Riot are currently working on a book about their time in prison and the trial that followed their arrest in 2012.

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