Eliot Borenstein. Pussy Riot: Speaking Punk to Power. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021

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Nataliya Tchermalykh


Speaking Punk to Power by Eliot Borenstein delves into one of the most remarkable causes célèbres of the Putin era—the story of Pussy Riot. At first an anonymous feminist collective whose radically ironic videos were visible mostly within the underground segment of the Russian internet, Pussy Riot became internationally famous after being accused of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for their short musical performance in the biggest Russian Orthodox cathedral of Moscow. The sentence—two years of penal colony for two members, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova—was announced in 2012. Ten years later, it is hard to imagine that such a controversy could actually occupy the forefront of Russian public debate, several years before Ukraine became an inexhaustible source for tropes of unruliness and radical threats to conservative values of the so-called russkii mir.

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Protest, Feminism, Action, Russia, Cultural Policy

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