Pussy Riot, political performance and joyful activism comes to St. Paul

Pussy Riot performed at Subterranean in Chicago on their first tour stop
Pussy Riot, the Russian protest punk collective, performs at Subterranean on March 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The show was the group's the first stop on their North American "live music performance art tour".
Scott Olson | Getty Images

At the second stop of their U.S tour bridging performance art and political action, the Russian post-punk feminist collective known as Pussy Riot are playing a sold out show at the Turf Club. The first stop of their whirlwind tour included a political rally with Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss.

The artist-activist collective was propelled into the international spotlight by the 2012 trial and conviction of three members for "hooliganism connected to religious hatred" during a guerilla protest. The trial was regarded as a test of free speech in President Vladimir Putin's Russia, and prompted international protests and outcry.

The artist-activists remain outspoken critics of Presidents Putin and Trump, warning of the dangers of populism, autocratic power, and patriarchy while advocating for solidarity and action for change.

Drawing on a rich tapestry of political action and performance art, the collective brings an ever evolving array of styles to their performances and videos. Recently they collaborated with producer David Sitek, known for his work with TV on the Radio and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, for "Bad Apples."

According to a recent interview with Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova, the only member of Pussy Riot who is not anonymous, some members of the collective have fled Russia. Recently other members of the collective were detained in Russian-controlled Crimea.

At their first U.S. show, Tolokonnikova said to NPR that "I'm not a big fan of preaching, but if you want to learn something from Pussy Riot, it's that activism should be joyful," she said backstage. "For young people, activism has felt like a boring job. That started to change with the Women's March — it's cool again."

Check back for further coverage from The Current over the weekend.

The vital details

Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. Full details from the Turf Club

Pussy Riot on twitter

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