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Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot's Russia

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208 pages
Edited by Maria Alyokhina, Tine Colstrup & Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir
29.7 × 21 cm
Language : English
Publisher : Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Punk, humor, poetry and pure rage: the full story of Pussy Riot as told by the group’s members

The Russian art collective and activist group Pussy Riot, formed in Moscow in 2011, is famous for its spontaneous and courageous actions challenging the Russian regime. Edited by Maria (Masha) Alyokhina, member and cofounder of the feminist-activist performance collective, this volume compiles, in chronological order, the last decade-plus of Pussy Riot’s happenings in Russia. Recurrent themes in the group’s feminist, anti-Putin practice include freedom of expression, human rights, LGBTQ+ rights and the release of political prisoners, while recent actions and works feature anti-war statements and support for Ukraine. Accompanying the eponymous traveling exhibition―the group’s largest presentation of work to date and its first-ever museum show―it is bolstered by a vast selection of photos and video stills, as well as personal accounts from the group’s members. In addition to documenting the performances themselves, the catalog chronicles the consequences of these nonviolent public actions for those who took part: these include arrests, beatings, imprisonment, poisoning, surveillance and house arrest. In addition to the iconic performances, such as Punk Prayer (2012), the exhibition catalog also documents a wide range of lesser-known actions as well as the escape from Russia of some of Pussy Riot’s key members in 2022. Told from the perspective of the Pussy Riot activists themselves, the exhibition and accompanying catalog provide a critical and timely insight into the evolution of Putin’s Russia over the past 10 years, including the military invasion of Ukraine.