Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is a feminist punk rock collective from Russia known for its political performances and activism. The band formed in Moscow in 2011, and its members remain anonymous, using brightly colored balaclavas to conceal their identities.

Pussy Riot has published several books that discuss their activism, political beliefs, and experiences in the Russian prison system. One of their most well-known books is called "Pussy Riot: Riot Days."

In February 2012, five members of Pussy Riot entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. They performed a song called "Punk Prayer," asking the Virgin Mary to drive out Russian president Vladimir Putin from the church. The lyrics criticized the government and its ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. Three members of the group, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested and charged with hooliganism.

The trial of the Pussy Riot members became an international cause celebre, with supporters worldwide calling for their release. Pussy Riot received support from a wide range of public figures, including musicians like Madonna, Yoko Ono, Sting, and Paul McCartney, as well as politicians and activists such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, and Amnesty International.

Human rights activists widely criticized the trial for being politically motivated. The harsh sentences handed down to the members, two years in prison for Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina and a suspended sentence for Samutsevich, were seen as evidence of the Russian government's crackdown on dissent.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina continued to speak out about their beliefs and the conditions in Russian prisons. After serving almost two years in jail, the authorities released them in December 2013.

After their escape, Pussy Riot continued to perform and advocate for human rights and social justice both in Russia and around the world.

Picture credit: FB @wearepussyriot
years of life: 2011 present


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