Pussy Riot is not for Pussies

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Pussy-Riot

or anyone not living in a cave we are all well aware of the turmoil happening around the world. And for many of us this turmoil is something that flickers across our television screens which we can easily dismiss with a flick of the wrist. But for the people actually living in these tumlotous circumstances there is no “getting away from it all,” there is no vacation from life. This is the life they have to live — but they don’t have to like it.

Pussy Riot created quite a ruckus in their home country when they performed a piece of performance art in the form of a puck rock song on the alter or “soleas” of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They were arrested and charged with “hooliganism” which here in the states we associate with teens egging someone’s house; but in Russia being charged with this crime carries quite the penalty — two years in prison to be exact. Of the five members arrested, two fled the country, once was acquitted, and the remaining two Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina went to prison.

I can hardly imagine that Nadezhda or Maria envisioned themselves gracing the pages of America’s fashion bible—Vogue, when they were belting out their discontent on the steps of a house of worship in the heart of Russia, but a platform is a platform and they have plenty to say. The Vogue story speaks of prison abuses such as women living with AIDS and TB without medical care and prisoners being attacked by guards for not having their work detail completed in time. Since their release and sudden high profile Nadezhda and Maria have formed a non-profit humanitarian group called Zona Prava which means Zone of Rights in Russian. They aim to monitor and report (and hopefully improve) on Russia’s often secretive prison system. This will not be an easy battle for them and although they may enjoy celebrity like status in the west, in their home country it is a different story. They are seen as villains and have even been attacked by the public. Of corse they do have their supporters, generally in the form of the intelligentsia, but taking a stand in Russia is not like taking a stand in the states. There is no going back to your democratically free, upper middle class home when the novelty of being a punk rock squatter on the streets of New York wears off. Nope, for them it is the real deal.

Nadezhda and Maria are returning to Russia after their world-wind celebrity tour of the west to continue with their work in improving conditions for prisoners. Unlike some who may have been tempted to stay in the west and work from afar, Nadezhda and Maria are marching back in to the fire. It is going to be an uphill fight for sure, but for anyone that calls themselves “Pussy Riot” I am sure they got it covered.

For a more in-depth story and account of Pussy Riot and the future for Nadezhda and Maria and their group Zona Prava please visit Vogue.com and you can also follow them on twitter @pussyrrriot

Image via Amnesty International 

XOXO
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12 Comments
  • Rachelle
    July 17, 2014

    Such an interesting read, we take so much for granted and we often forget how good we have it here unlike other countries.

  • Jackie Harrison
    July 17, 2014

    WOW they take Punk Rock to a different level love the title it made me laugh.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

  • Alexis Grace
    July 17, 2014

    One of the nice things about *not* living in the US is getting more world news, so I am well aware of the pussy riot story. That being said, I completely agree with your take on their bravery… these are strong women!

  • Ashley
    July 17, 2014

    Great read- I am inspired by these women and their never-give-up attitude. 🙂

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

  • Tania
    July 17, 2014

    Wow, it’s hard to think about what my world would be like with conditions like those of Russia. I work as a Interventionist in schools and this year we got two Russian boys in our fourth grade class. That’s how I became aware of the situation there, and it is heart braking. Glad you spoke about it here.

    Xo,
    Tania
    http://inspiremyfancy.blogspot.com

  • Kathleen
    July 17, 2014

    Wow, this is amazing! Such an incredible story.
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

  • Lady Lilith
    July 17, 2014

    It is nice to know we have some people standing up and making a difference.

  • i just watched a documentary on them, i think it was on hbo maybe(?). and then today in a conversation regarding what else is going on in the world (oy), i was talking about all sorts of things – the stupidity of war and loss of innocent lives, how civilians really don’t take a stand against the powers that be out of fear etc., and it made me think about people like the pussy riot women who do take a stand publicly – how important and brave it is. and how it truly is “the people” who can create change. i am certainly with them and hoping that they are able to bring not only attention to their cause, but change as well.

  • Sonia
    July 18, 2014

    It is absolutely crazy to think what the world is coming to, especially considering todays tragic news. We’ve all sat and heard about frivolous war stories dating back thousands of years and how every time no one comes out victorious and yet, here we are today, 2014 and STILL raging wars over land and religion? I mean I can’t understand the logic behind peoples pathetic prides. I can’t imagine the kind of danger Pussy Riot must have actually been in, their bravery in expressing what the oppressed fear to do so is beyond extraordinary. Loved reading this Allie, so well written.

    SDMxx
    http://www.daringcoco.com

  • Kim of A Very Sweet Blog
    July 18, 2014

    Russia has some shit with them! I knew things were bad, but it seems a lot worse. They are truly to be admired. Scared for them though! It’s important to take a stance, but I worry about their safety.

  • FASHION TALES
    July 19, 2014

    I remember reading and hearing about Pussy Riot and their situation, I think they are brave, despite everything else going on with Russia at the moment. Hopefully change is in the future. Sometimes we forget so easily how wonderful we have it, in comparison to many other parts of the world.

  • Glamoury Armory
    July 20, 2014

    Great post! I also watched the documentary about them on Vice. They are very brave.

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