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Pussy Riot in Prison
October 2, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Although three members of Pussy Riot "have been sentenced to two years each on the absurd charge of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,'" they remain unbowed. In this GQ interview Nadya Tolokonikovoy relates that "prison is a place for ascetic practices," and states "In any case, I'm happy I got two years. For every person with a functioning brain, this verdict is so dumb and cruel that it removes any lingering illusions about Putin's system. It's a verdict on the system."
posted by mr. digits (69 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
My understanding of the Russian prison system is that it's a breeding ground for drug-resistant tuberculosis, and a veritable death sentence depending on where you get sent. I hope they make it through their two years.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:01 PM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


We are living in the 21st century, right? Right?!
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:02 PM on October 2, 2012


We are living in the 21st century, right? Right?!

The sad thing is that this IS the vision of the 21st century (and beyond) that works for many, many people.
posted by xingcat at 12:11 PM on October 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Nadya's surname should read: Tolokonnikova.
posted by mr. digits at 12:11 PM on October 2, 2012


Nadya's surname should read: Tolokonnikova.

Alternatively, the sentence could read "In this GQ interview with Nadya Tolokonikovoy."

OK, I know, not really, but isn't Russian magical?
posted by prefpara at 12:13 PM on October 2, 2012


I think the phrase "I will deign to be sweet for a little bit in order to destroy it" may be one of the most deliciously layered pieces of rhetoric that I've read in a while. It's like a birthday cake with a bomb baked into it.
posted by sendai sleep master at 12:16 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's a iconic photo of defiance at the top of the article. Props to Pussy Riot for going through with this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:20 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Russian isn't magical. It has cases. Like German. But more.
posted by floatboth at 12:28 PM on October 2, 2012


We are living in the 21st century, right? Right?!
The future is clearly not evenly distributed.
The sad thing is that this IS the vision of the 21st century (and beyond) that works for many, many people.
They got some approximation of judicial process and a two year sentence. Elsewhere, they might have just been quietly murdered or tortured and then murdered. They actually have it better than many, many people.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:29 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


We are living in the 21st century, right? Right?!

In many ways, the early 21st century is less friendly to human rights than the late 20th. I can remember when the vast majority of Americans considered torture to be inhuman, a weapon reserved for evil dictators and James Bond villains.

We should not delude ourselves into thinking that history is inevitably trending in the right direction. The proletarians are not fated to overthrow the bourgeoisie, capitalism is not going to bring about the end of history, etc. Why then should we think that human rights will become more widespread unless we fight for them?

Martin Luther King said that the moral arc of history is long but it bends toward justice. True, but you only get to say things like that if you're doing the bending.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:34 PM on October 2, 2012 [16 favorites]


I appreciate your point that a lot of folks still have it worse but this:

some approximation of judicial process and a two year sentence

seems to be glossing over some things.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:34 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Elsewhere, they might have just been quietly murdered or tortured and then murdered. They actually have it better than many, many people.

Anyone know what this is supposed to mean? Is it just thread-shitting?

PS I love them, love their courage and conviction.
posted by colie at 12:36 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Putin and his machine/croneys have been having his political enemies and hostile journalists (including female journalists) actually murdered for years. Not thrown in jail on trumped up charges, murdered. People know this. Literally anyone who has been paying attention knows this, and knows that not only is Putin behind it, but that he wants everyone to know that he is behind it. (Poison = Putin, pretty much, although that's not the only way he/his people have people killed, it's just what happens when he absolutely, positively wants to make clear what's being done.)

Yet, the "outrage" that gets all the flashy, mainstream, American media attention is a group called Pussy Riot, whose members are cute conventionally attractive alt porn lookalikes and whose parent group stages "protest" where dudes assfuck a bunch of women surrounded by teddy bears.

I guess Anna Politkovskaya wasn't hot enough? And of course, her murder actually got a lot more coverage in the "serious" media than most, although not so much in the US.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Elsewhere? Putin's government is suspected of murdering journalists and at least one dissident.

So yes, they've been quite lucky so far. but I don't think it's a matter of pure geography.
posted by bilabial at 12:39 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


elsewhere, they might have just been quietly murdered or tortured and then murdered. They actually have it better than many, many people.

Anyone know what this is supposed to mean? Is it just thread-shitting?

PS I love them, love their courage and conviction.


I took it to be a response to the "Is this the 21st century" thread that has been running through this discussion. By putting forth that Pussy Riot's fate is in fact not the worst available to political dissidents in this day and age one makes clear just how much work we, as a world wide society, have to go before we can really pat ourselves on the back fro being lightyears away from WW II and the Cold War. At least that is how I interpreted the comment. Not thread-shitting at all.
posted by sendai sleep master at 12:44 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yet, the "outrage" that gets all the flashy, mainstream, American media attention is a group called Pussy Riot, whose members are cute conventionally attractive alt porn lookalikes and whose parent group stages "protest" where dudes assfuck a bunch of women surrounded by teddy bears.

Yes, let's blame Pussy Riot for getting all the attention. How dare they steal it from all the other dissidents.
posted by sendai sleep master at 12:46 PM on October 2, 2012


Yet, the "outrage" that gets all the flashy, mainstream, American media attention is a group called Pussy Riot, whose members are cute conventionally attractive alt porn lookalikes and whose parent group stages "protest" where dudes assfuck a bunch of women surrounded by teddy bears.

Oh, radicals, never stop being yourselves!

I think they were actual taxidermied bears, not teddy bears.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:47 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would say not really that Pussy Riot have been lucky, it is that they are not threats to Putin in any real sense. The message Putin is sending by reacting to them the way he has is not what the people pushing the "Free Pussy Riot!" narrative seem to think it is.

Basically, the impression I get from relatives is that they are basically like Welfare Queens in Cadillacs for Reagan, or maybe more like the various excesses of hippies in the 70s? I mean, yes, Putin is absolutely brutal and repressive and the head of an Ex-Intelligence-Apparatus-Mafia-Archy who scoffs at democracy, but he still actually has a base to pander to, and Pussy Riot and the husbands of Pussy Riot basically invoke a sense of GET OFF MY LAWN amongst a lot of Russians. Which I think is actually pretty understandable, all things considered.

So the point is, yeah: this is not at all about what the media wants to pretend it's about.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 12:51 PM on October 2, 2012


Yet, the "outrage" that gets all the flashy, mainstream, American media attention is a group called Pussy Riot, whose members are cute conventionally attractive alt porn lookalikes and whose parent group stages "protest" where dudes assfuck a bunch of women surrounded by teddy bears.

Pussy Riot is an arts collective making provocative music and statements. Even a quick read of their closing statements at their trial shows how serious and committed they are to their ideas and actions.

Not sure where all the 'alt porn' and 'assfuck' hate is coming from - as far as I know the related collective Voina put on some 60s-style naked orgy events in some dusty museums?
posted by colie at 1:37 PM on October 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


In other news, Putin seeks redemption through sexiness.
posted by gracedepapel at 1:46 PM on October 2, 2012


So the point is, yeah: this is not all about what the media wants to pretend it's about.

No, I agree. It's MUCH better for them to be locked up because Putin is trying to secure some votes than because he fears their political clout.
posted by mr. digits at 2:15 PM on October 2, 2012


Yet, the "outrage" that gets all the flashy, mainstream, American media attention is a group called Pussy Riot

But that's exactly what Pussy Riot was designed to do: as a project of Voina, Pussy Riot was created almost specifically as something that would appeal to western journalist. The most cynical interpretation I heard was that it was designed specifically to appeal to middle aged American journalists who fondly remember going to punk rock shows and remember when it was believed that punk could spark a cultural revolution.

And, honestly, can you blame them? Journalists have been murdered, and Putin managed to cultivate a bit of a cult-of-personality in the west (Time named him Person of the Year in 2007 and gave him a praiseworthy profile). So if anything, Voina hit the jackpot and did what normal journalism wasn't able to shed light on by bringing attention to the dark side of the Putin regime.

Inside Russia, Pussy Riot's plight isn't looked on with much sympathy or much of a priority, because there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to the decay of freedoms. But as far as a showcase to demonstrate to outsiders how Putin's presidency has a repressive side, Pussy Riot seems to have waked the western media up to that reality.
posted by deanc at 2:30 PM on October 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Interesting contrarian opinion:
http://fabiusmaximus.com/2012/09/26/russia-pussy-riot-43530/


Nothing better illustrates the craven hypocrisy of Western coverage than the recent Pμssy Riot (PR) story; while it has received many hundreds of times the coverage it deserved, we cannot quite ignore it, given the indignant yelping of the tame Western media, as well as the truly extraordinary volume of political spin generated.


I don't agree but the article has details I didn't know.
posted by KaizenSoze at 2:48 PM on October 2, 2012


Not sure where all the 'alt porn' and 'assfuck' hate is coming from - as far as I know the related collective Voina put on some 60s-style naked orgy events in some dusty museums?

Oh please. Being so enthusiastically outraged, surely you've come across the pictures. You know, of being fucked in a museum while 9 mo pregnant, getting naked at a shopping mall, being photographed naked covered with cockroaches, stuffing a dead chicken into a vagina at the grocery store...
I mean, it would be pretty fucking pathetic if you haven't, so I'm not sure what your intention is.
posted by c13 at 3:24 PM on October 2, 2012


Pussy Riot is an arts collective making provocative music and statements.

Exactly. So what's with all the whining when provocation is finally met with retaliation?
posted by c13 at 3:31 PM on October 2, 2012


Exactly. So what's with all the whining when provocation is finally met with retaliation?

I want this written in fifty-foot letters in every capital city on Earth once the real provocation reaps its reward. Until then, I guess some people will keep on pretending that a few icky-squicky naked pictures even move the needle on the depravity-o-meter that is global society.
posted by vorfeed at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2012


So what's with all the whining when provocation is finally met with retaliation?

Because no one deserves a lengthy jail sentence in Siberia for western-journalist-baiting performance art.
posted by deanc at 3:56 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because no one deserves a lengthy jail sentence in Siberia for western-journalist-baiting performance art.
If Putin were to pat them on the head and give them 30 days of community service, that would diffuse a great deal of their energy and undermine their message. It seems like they need their two years in Siberia in order to make their point.

That said, no one deserves a jail sentence that involves lengthy exposure to sub-zero temperatures, in Siberia or otherwise. I assume that is part of their point. I'm pretty sure they aren't just trying to ensure that everyone has access to naked jam sessions in Orthodox churches.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:15 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, first of all I don't think they, or western media or Mefiles get to choose the degree of retaliation in this case. Things don't really work that way. Neither in Russia, nor in other european countries, as far as I can tell from what's been written in western media.
Secondly, Siberia is a pretty specific geographical place, and unless you can provide a specific link showing that's where they are being transferred (something they are trying to fight, as it's apparently way too far for western journalists to travel, and therefore a sure way of being forgotten), you really shouldn't use it as a prop.

I personally don't give a shit about them. It's the hypocracy that gets to me. Country that has the greatest number of people behind bars in history get's all hot and bothered about what happens on the other side of the earth..
posted by c13 at 4:21 PM on October 2, 2012


So what's with all the whining when provocation is finally met with retaliation?

If Putin's goons had been smarter about it, they would have gotten the band convicted of a misdemeanor and given a slap on the wrist punishment, say a $50 fine and a warning not to do it again. Objectively, that would not have been unjust. As a rule, it is wrong to go onto someone else's property and disrupt what they're doing. Putin would been made to look reasonable and fair (contrary to fact) and Russian dissidents would have been a bit more marginalized.

Instead, Putin's rigged courts have hit a fly with a sledgehammer. Nobody gets two years for rudeness. There's no way to argue that they're not political prisoners. The punishment does not fit the crime.

Edit: Will this new editing feature let me modify the time at which my comment was posted to slip it in before b1tr0t? Please reply within three minutes and four seconds.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:22 PM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think you understand the purpose of rioting pussies. If all they got was a $50 fine, they'd keep trying to provoke a more serious response. Just like they have been trying all this time none of you knew anything about them.
posted by c13 at 4:38 PM on October 2, 2012


Pussy Riot is an arts collective making provocative music and statements.

Ha ha ha.. Because, as we all know, if you're in Siberia, you're automatically exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
Hey, at least the didn't get send to Australia. Imagine being upside down for two years.
posted by c13 at 4:46 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because no one deserves a lengthy jail sentence in Siberia for western-journalist-baiting performance art.

Ahem: "sentenced to two years in a penal colony (a softer version of imprisonment, with the possibility of outside employment and home-leave at weekends)"

Instead, Putin's rigged courts have hit a fly with a sledgehammer. Nobody gets two years for rudeness. There's no way to argue that they're not political prisoners. The punishment does not fit the crime.

Though you'll scoff, they were offered a bunch of opportunities (through the Church and various TV outlets, none officially connected with Putin but that's how this works anyway) to apologize and get some form of clemency/pardon/reduced sentence. It's still bullshit, but it's helpful to be able to distinguish the various kinds and degrees of political theater.

Also: "clearly they are political prisoners" is not how it is being read in Russia, which is what matters. Just because the average #OccupyWallstreet type can't tell the difference between "dealt with by the state security apparatus" and "stupid young Lady GaGa style famewhores who want to be Le Tigre when they grow up" doesn't mean Russians can't. I mean, part of it is, in Russia pretty much every imprisonment is always already political, including who doesn't get imprisoned. Pussy Riot isn't like the Russian West Memphis Three, or anything. The only Russians I know who look at things like that are... Americans. Or Israelis, who are also Americans.

If all they got was a $50 fine, they'd keep trying to provoke a more serious response.

The western media and journalists are doing a demonstrably terrible, abso-fucking-lutely terrible, hideous, shitty job of criticizing their (our) own government and revealing it's excesses and doing whatever it is that people think "more media exposure" is going to do to save us all from ourselves. Why does Voina/Pussy Riot think that they will somehow magically be more effective when in the context of Russia, of all places?
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 4:52 PM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why does Voina/Pussy Riot think that they will somehow magically be more effective when in the context of Russia, of all places?

What do you mean? How many people in the west knew about even the existence of pussy riot?
And now we're discussing them even here and freaking Yoko is giving them a prize. I'd say they've been pretty damn effective..
posted by c13 at 5:02 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Exactly. So what's with all the whining when provocation is finally met with retaliation?
posted by c13 at 11:31 PM on October 2


You're being ironic, right? Please tell me you're being ironic.
posted by Decani at 5:18 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I don't know what the exact equivalent would be, but if I took a dump on the National Memorial, I wouldn't feel in position to complain about the harsheness of punishment. But it's just me.
But hey, feel free to be outraged. Afterall, there ain't much else you can do in your Free Speech Zone.
posted by c13 at 5:28 PM on October 2, 2012


Unlike in Soviet Russia, the freedom-loving citizens of the great western democracies can exersize their freedom of speech as they see fit. Unless, of course, they try to voice their support of Pussy Riot in
France or US. In that case they get their asses arrested. For you see, in France freedom of speech does not extend to certain religions and it's illigal to wear certain religious clothing, and US... well, US is US. It's even illigal to protect one's head as one is being pummeled over the head with police batons after exersising the right to free speech.

But by all means, let's talk about how evil Putin is and how radikal we are.
posted by c13 at 6:01 PM on October 2, 2012


The True Blasphemy: Slavoj Žižek on Pussy Riot

If we understand cynicism as ruthless pragmatism of power which secretly laughs at its own principles, then Pussy Riot are anti-cynicism embodied. Their message is: IDEAS MATTER.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:09 PM on October 2, 2012


Cmon guys, C13 is obviously trolling here. No one could possibly hold such a set of convoluted, misinformed, and contradictory set of beliefs.
posted by Locobot at 6:12 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is the sacred duty of all of us to prevent that the courageous individuals who compose Pussy Riot will not pay in their flesh the price for their becoming a global symbol.
posted by c13 at 6:29 PM on October 2, 2012


IDEAS
MATTER
posted by c13 at 6:41 PM on October 2, 2012


What do you mean? How many people in the west knew about even the existence of pussy riot?

And now we're discussing them even here and freaking Yoko is giving them a prize. I'd say they've been pretty damn effective..


So what makes a political movement effective and worthwhile is media exposure for it's own sake, is what you're saying? It doesn't matter that they're basically reinforcing Putin's position, which is against their stated goals, what matters is that we're talking about them on MetaFilter and The Usual Suspects are doing the usual thing.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2012


From their perspective? I guess so. Those pictures I linked to above, I distinctly remember seeing them at least a year ago, way, way before Pussy Riot was mentioned in western media. Back then these images were posted along side pics of drunk cops, burst water mains, decaying buildings, weird sea creatures and other such nonsense.
Back then there was no talk about political movement.
And really, stuffing a frozen chicken into a vagina while chanting "Putin go away" is a political movement? Seriously? That is what passes for "ideas that matter" and global symbols nowdays?
As little as I think of them, I don't believe they are actually stupid enough to believe that their performances can lead to any sort of political change. Therefore I'm left with an idea that their main goal is to gain publicity. Why they were allowed to gain it this time as opposed to all the previous ones, I have no clue.
posted by c13 at 7:13 PM on October 2, 2012


How are they reinforcing Putin? It seems to me their "punk prayer" was a creative protest against Putin and his close support from the Russian Church:

In Putin’s Russia, little separation between church and state

Patriarch Kirill called Mr. Putin a “miracle from God” who had “rectified the crooked path of history.” Mr. Putin won a landslide victory.


Maybe the problem is the overwhelming majority of Russians actually support Putin and are becoming increasingly nationalistic against the West.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:13 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I personally don't give a shit about them. It's the hypocracy that gets to me. Country that has the greatest number of people behind bars in history get's all hot and bothered about what happens on the other side of the earth..

So why the fuck are you all outraged at the activists rather than the journalists? I mean what the hell.
posted by rtha at 7:50 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I personally don't give a shit about them.

Eleven comments about something you don't give a shit about. Why spend all that outrage at activists rather than professional/Western journalists, whose job is theoretically to report important news? Don't they get any hate in your don't-care universe? I mean what the hell.
posted by rtha at 8:00 PM on October 2, 2012


Heh, and you just couldn't read to the end of the post, right?
posted by c13 at 8:16 PM on October 2, 2012


Delay or fear? Russian court postpones Pussy Riot appeal to Oct. 10 after member fires lawyers
posted by homunculus at 8:22 PM on October 2, 2012


Pussy Riot Witch Hunt by Kremlin-Backed ‘Youth Movement’: A Kremlin-backed ‘youth movement’ has tracked down six more women said to be members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. But is it all for show?
posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


On second thought, than you, rtha. Your post kind of illustrates one of the points I'm trying to make. You conviniently ignore me saying that I'm bothered by the hypocracy of the situation, even though I state that in the very post you're quoting.
Likewise, Pussy Riot is discussed in the western media only in the context of their latest performance, and all their other tricks are not mentioned (if you can show me any news outfit that published any of the pictures I linked to, I would appreciate it).
So what's up with this selective reporting? I mean, it's almost unfair. One pussy desecrates a place of worship and gets to be a world famous freedom fighter, while another stuffs a chicken into herself and all she gets are some pics on obscure blogs....
posted by c13 at 8:48 PM on October 2, 2012


I'd say they've been pretty damn effective..

Effective at what? is the question. One can deplore the sentence and Russian oligarchs whilst still engaging critically. I feel there's a bit of the KONYs going on with Pussy Riot, in that it seems to be more a lever for the West to talk at (and about) itself, then a genuine force for political change/agitation.

Sometimes I feel the public has essentially quaffed the nonsense that the journalist/PR/social media establishments offer about themselves, cf the appearance of power vs actual power.

Whilst not deriding what Pussy Riot does and is doing there are thousands of people doing more for democracy in Russia and elsewhere. They don't receive our attention very often, but - if we break out of a frequently-Western mindset - we need to ask what our attention is actually worth? Very little, I would say.
posted by smoke at 8:48 PM on October 2, 2012


Effective at what? is the question.

Effective in attracting attention to themselves. What exactly for and what kind of attention they wanted I don't know, but I think that this time their attempts really blew up in their face, and now they are tryEffective at what? is the question.ing to backpedal. In addition to appealing their sentenses, they are really trying not to get sent to the colony-something that normally happens after the guilty verdict. All of a sudden now these terrible, terrible conditions inside the jail they complained so much about, do not seem so bad. I think that's because they realise that after two years away from easy access to western reporters no one is going to remember them. What's some TB compared with this terrible
fate?
posted by c13 at 9:13 PM on October 2, 2012


It's an interesting question, you know. Before Pussy Riot there was FEMEN that like to flash their tits in public. They say they do this to attract attention to various problems in Ukraine, such as poor condition of the roads. I may be extra dense and don't see a logical link between boobs and potholes, but it seems to me that they really want attention for themselves. Or it's some sort of propaganda campaign the purpose of which completely eludes me.
posted by c13 at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2012


IDEAS
MATTER


Whenever anyone uses a thread like this to post a link to pictures of the arts collective Voina either having sex in a gallery or putting a chicken into a vagina, it only makes me like them even more.
posted by colie at 11:22 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, Pussy Riot have shown so well-spoken and thoughtful, and bitingly humorous, they're an inspiration. This quote by Tolokonnikova is all sorts of awesome (part of it was quoted earlier, but the whole thing has so much weight to it, it's worth quoting whole):
I humbly hope that our attractiveness performs a subversive function. First of all, because without "us" in balaclavas, jumping all over Red Square with guitars, there is no "us" smiling sweetly in the courtroom. You can't get the latter without the former. Second, because this attractiveness destroys the idiotic stereotype, still extant in Russia, that a feminist is an ugly-ass frustrated harridan. This stereotype is so puke-making that I will deign to be sweet for a little bit in order to destroy it. Though every time I open my mouth, the sweetness goes out the window anyway.
posted by fraula at 2:20 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is indeed very beautiful.
posted by colie at 2:33 AM on October 3, 2012


Interesting contrarian opinion:
http://fabiusmaximus.com/2012/09/26/russia-pussy-riot-43530/
Along with their ugly history, PR was neither a band (they have neither recorded a song nor done a tour; official criteria for membership involve the ability to scream, certainly not to sing), nor punks (punks are quintessentially apolitical)
Well there's someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. Seriously, try listening to God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols or London Calling by the Clash and then tell me that punks are "quintessentially apolitical".

Of course the link was useful for a view from in Russia, thanks.
posted by Francis at 3:54 AM on October 3, 2012


...yes. I'm not sure when an explicit criticism of entrenched power structures became apolitical. In fact, to steal a line, I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
posted by jaduncan at 4:47 AM on October 3, 2012


Whenever anyone uses a thread like this to post a link to pictures of the arts collective Voina either having sex in a gallery or putting a chicken into a vagina, it only makes me like them even more.

Except that no one gave a shit about them when they did that. It was when they formed an all-women balaclava-wearing punk band straight out of indie comic fantasies that they finally got attention from the western media and shined a light on the Russian legal system.

I feel there's a bit of the KONYs going on with Pussy Riot, in that it seems to be more a lever for the West to talk at (and about) itself, then a genuine force for political change/agitation.

Yes, this is exactly what it is. But then again, I have a bit of sympathy for the KONY stuff, if only because, "if all of you concerned activists are so clever, then why did you just get upstaged by an amateur Christian filmmaker/Russian performance art collective?"
posted by deanc at 7:13 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a proposition: Pussy Riot (and perhaps Voina itself? I'm not well educated concerning either group) seek to gain attention for themselves so that they may direct attention to their critiques of the Russian system. They are agitators.

Is this true? I'm under the impression that it is, but will certainly welcome arguments disproving the proposition.

If it is true, and if Western media then turns it into a "lever for the West to talk to (and about) itself,"* why would one's opinion of Pussy Riot be altered? They sought attention, they received attention. They do not control the attention.
posted by mr. digits at 3:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Putin's Miscalculation: It was a big mistake to pick on a pregnant human rights activist. The world must hold whoever was responsible to account.
posted by homunculus at 4:06 PM on October 5, 2012


Putin says Pussy Riot 'got what they asked for' as jailed women appeal
posted by homunculus at 11:19 AM on October 8, 2012


Yekaterina Samutsevich has been released from jail following an appeal.
posted by 256 at 10:11 AM on October 10, 2012


Moscow: Jesus Christ Kicks Punk Rockers out of Temple

posted by mmrtnt at 11:46 AM on October 10, 2012


Moscow: Masked Men Attack Crowd at a Gay Bar
posted by homunculus at 12:22 PM on October 14, 2012


Back to the Gulag: Where Are the Pussy Riot Convicts Being Sent?

Inside Russia's Prison System
posted by homunculus at 12:54 PM on October 20, 2012


Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps: Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to serve sentences in Russia's 'harshest prisons' in Perm and Mordovia
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM on October 22, 2012


Putin brands western media hyprocrites: Reaction to jailings of Pussy Riot trio and 'Innocence of Muslims' creator shows double standards, says Russian president
posted by homunculus at 3:19 PM on October 25, 2012


Women of the Wall and Pussy Riot: Unlikely partners in the same struggle
posted by homunculus at 3:21 PM on October 25, 2012


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