┐ What is Pussy Riot’s ‘Idea’? – Maria Chehonadskih └

knitting patterns via poppalina

article in the latest issue of Radical Philosophy. A must read!

pdf here:che_pussy_riot

The dark side of the Pussy Riot multitude is an extreme individualism, manifest in the gesture of the removed balaclavas, behind which a unique ‘Russianness’ appears: first, the face of the leader, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova; second, dissident moralism, spirituality and asceticism – the brand identity of Russian revolutionaries since the populist movement of the nineteenth century; and third, the visibility of the local art and intellectual scenes as such. Tolokonnikova wrote:

The people that I have had the chance to work with during my actionist years were quite unusual for Moscow. They were not interested in money or comfort… They preferred not to spend time and their consciousness, which was ready to include and transform everything around them, on the daily grind and the striving for creature comforts. When they wanted to eat, they would break a loaf of bread. Their hearts were not heavy from either overeating or drunkenness. Their minds were fully occupied with whatever they were currently working on. They worked a lot, with fervor and enthusiasm. Even their knowledge of the fact that they might have to pay for their activities with prison did not stop them.

We are all Pussy Riot in the sense that without masks we are of the touching, phantasmatic East – wild, risky and unknown. If I speak of an ‘Eastern exotic’ it is without any cynicism towards to the group. Thanks to Pussy Riot our local political and artistic scene has at last received some attention. We are now very busy: curators make exhibitions about Pussy Riot, activists give lectures about Pussy Riot, and intellectuals and art critics, like myself, write texts about Pussy Riot…

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