A Colossal Conversation: Nadya Tolokonnikova on Pussy Riot, Life as Performance Art, and How Anonymity is Her Strength

A Colossal Conversation Nadya Tolokonnikova on Pussy Riot Life as | RetinaComics

All images courtesy of the artist, shared with permission

Nadya Tolokonnikova created Pussy Riot in 2011 partly in response to Vladimir Putin’s declaration that he would continue his reign over Russia. In 2012, when she and her collaborators undertook their now-famous performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, she was infamously sentenced to two years in prison, vaulting the art collective to international fame.

I sat down with Nadya for a conversation one Saturday in February 2024, more than a decade since Pussy Riot’s founding. We discuss the ways performance art and activism are uniquely matched, why she chooses to live geo-anonymously, and her grand utopian plans, which include becoming the matriarch of the Church of Feminism.

Read the conversation.

 

four women in dresses and colorful balaclavas protest in a church

From the action ‘Punk Prayer,’ Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscow (2012). Photo by Mitya Aleshkovsky

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