Posted in music on February 6, 2014

Pussy Riot

Before last night's (2/5) Amnesty International Human Rights Concert at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, where Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot appeared (introduced by Madonna), still-anonymous members of Pussy Riot sent out an open letter stating that neither Nadya nor Masha are still members of Pussy Riot anymore. The letter in English (via Pitchfork) reads:

We are very pleased with Masha's and Nadya's release. We are proud of their resistance against harsh trials that fell to their lot, and their determination by all means to continue the struggle that they had started during their stay in the colonies.

Unfortunately for us, they are being so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons, that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group--feminism, separatist resistance, fight against authoritarianism and personality cult, all of which, as a matter of fact, was the cause for their unjust punishment.

Moreover, instead of the names of Nadya and Masha, the poster of the [Amnesty International] event showed a man in a balaclava with electric guitar, under the name of Pussy Riot, while the organizers smartly called for people to buy expensive tickets. All this is an extreme contradiction to the very principles of Pussy Riot collective: We are all-female separatist collective--no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality. We belong to leftist anti-capitalist ideology--we charge no fees for viewing our art-work, all our videos are distributed freely on the web, the spectators to our performances are always spontaneous passers by, and we never sell tickets to our 'shows'.

Our performances are always 'illegal', staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. The distribution of our clips is always through free and unrestricted media channels. We are anonymous, because we act against any personality cult, against hierarchies implied by appearance, age and other visible social attributes. We cover our heads, because we oppose the very idea of using female face as a trademark for promoting any sort of goods or services.

The mixing of the rebel feminist punk image with the image of institutionalised defenders of prisoners' rights, is harmful for us as collective, as well as it is harmful for the new role that Nadya and Masha have taken on.

The New York Times notes that backstage at Barclays Center last night, Nadya and Masha had no comment on the letter, but they have said things like "We are no longer Pussy Riot" in other interviews, deciding to focus their efforts on Russian prison reform. That said, you'd never know they thought that based on their (brave) Colbert Report appearance, and their statement in the press conference before the Amnesty show that "anybody can be a member of Pussy Riot". "Pussy Riot" or not, we continue to applaud what they are doing.

Nadya and Masha are still in NYC and will be at tonight's Voice Project reception/fundraiser at The Spotted Pig, which Kim Gordon, Sean Ono Lennon, Questlove and others are hosting.

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Tags: Pussy Riot

Comments (102)

STONG

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:45 AM

when madonna jumps onboard, you know it's just a disaster.

this whole turning a prison stint into a cause celebre thing is horrible.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:46 AM

russian bitches not givin a fuck

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:47 AM

"Our performances are always 'illegal', staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. "

Sounds like a lot of bad Todd P shows..

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:48 AM

Seriously, did we think Madonna getting involved was a good idea?! What a shame.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:49 AM

Good for them. I'm surprised Vice hasn't jumped on board and sponsored their next record, bought them a apt in Williamsburg, made them 'featured' bloggers on the site etc...

I hate that fucking company.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:50 AM

who would have thought there was any pretentiousness involved with Pussy Riot?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:51 AM

Ha ha this reminds me of when we were 8 and our "bass player" decided he wanted to play baseball instead so he took his patch cord and the rest of the 2L bottle of Pepsi he brought and went home.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:51 AM

Yeah 10:51, that's EXACTLY what it's like

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:54 AM

I'd eat baklava off of Nadya's face anytime

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:56 AM

Further proof women shouldn't play music.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:56 AM

seriously, when madonna shows up, it's time to split

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:58 AM

are they so anti-man when they're taking the high hard one doggy style from their russian boyfriends? or are they all lez?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:59 AM

Putin told Yoko Ono to leave the cats alone.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:59 AM

Soooooo...when is Nadya's spread appearing in Playboy?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:00 AM

Not surprised. When their first interviews are with the Russian version of Paris Hilton and a non-serious interview with Colbert instead of actual political journalists, you can tell being celebrities had suddenly become more important than everything they stood for in Pussy Riot.

I'm a second generation Russian American thank god, but if my family never immigrated after the fall of Communism, I'd probably be singing a different story. Life back there is still based on survival by any means necessary. The people always willing to sell their own families out to make a buck and manipulating their way to get things. That's just the culture.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:08 AM

The hot one is gone. No one will ever give a shit again.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:09 AM

I really like this blog, but BV commentors are the worst. Really didn't know that so many misogynistic neanderthals were into indie music.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:20 AM

What is this, Black Flag?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:21 AM


Been trying to post a half-assed intelligent comment in this thread for the past fucking 10 minutes. Keeps getting censored.

Fuck the Brooklyn Enquirer.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:24 AM

11:09 - Exactly.

Nothing to see here kids, move along.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:27 AM

I watched a little of their interview with Colbert and you could tell he was desperately trying to keep them interesting.

They both looked like they had the personality of a wet fish.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:29 AM

So Pussy Riot is basically a bitchier version of Improv Everywhere.

I hate Improv Everywhere.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:29 AM

11:20
stop being so front-butt hurt.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:30 AM

Meanwhile, at the Spotted Pig....

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:31 AM

Oh, yes, dumb American hipsters pretending to have any idea what is going on in Russia or what this is all about. While you guys were jerking off to their pictures on the internet, they were in a gulag. I don't think very many American artists alive today, and none of you BV readers, would stand so strongly for your principles that you would spend one minute in jail (unless you are busted for smack), let alone years in a Russian prison camp. Let's just all hope our brave American hockey players beat the Russians. If some of our players are gay, all the better. That will make everything right. Right?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:39 AM

So again, yes, pimping yourself out to rich people to take selfies with you at the spotted pig is not punk rock.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:39 AM

Oh please 11:39, tell us about your extensive experiences in Russia and your time in a Russian gulag.


I'm waiting.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:43 AM

the destinys child of russian oppression

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:47 AM

"Really didn't know that so many misogynistic neanderthals were into indie music."

Hahahahaahahahhahahahahahahahha

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:49 AM

s t i l l w a i t i n g

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:51 AM

misogynistic is just another word for reality. like racist

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:52 AM

@11:39 the prison thing is irrelevant even to pussy riot. Not even they are trying to make people feel about about it.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:53 AM

1059, I think one of them was pregnant or has 2 kids and is married, so I guess that one at least is not a lesbian, don't know the orientation of any of the others

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:53 AM

PUSSY RIOT SOLD OUT!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:53 AM

I'm still waiting, 11:39.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:56 AM

pussy riot cut the cancer out of there group. It seems like they just want to be anarchist and troll the law.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:57 AM

Amnesty has been doing these concerts intermittently it seems for decades but honestly has anything ever changed by them except give a feel good rush to the people who attend and buy 10 dollar beers ??

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:58 AM

This doesn't surprise me. I wouldn't trust a Russian with my cat's life.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:58 AM

Who's having hummus for lunch?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:13 PM

^ The iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:13 PM

11:39 is running for his student council.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:16 PM

I have pussy rot and there is no cure for it

Posted by Leslie | February 6, 2014 12:20 PM

I wouldn't trust Cibo Matto with my cat.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:25 PM

Has anything ever changed as a result of AI fundraising events? That's a valid question. They do quite a lot of good work advocating on behalf of political prisoners around the world and making human rights reports. Such advocacy isn't free and there are costs associated with running research teams, sending people into the field, litigation, etc. so presumably raising money helps to fund their operations, so some good does come from benefit concerts such as this even if they aren't punk rock or anarchist or whatever. I don't have any personal opinion on Pussy Riot or Nadya and Masha's participation in this, but I don't think anybody can seriously debate that there are serious human rights problems in Russia particularly in Russian penal colonies and prisons. I don't think anybody in America going to a concert will be able to effect any change in Russia though. They tend to dislike foreigners meddling in their internal affairs and this could even be counter-productive. Change in Russia will need to come from within. Let's put it this way, despite plenty of criticism from all over the world, has the USA closed its gulag in Guantanamo or stopped using drones etc.? Superpowers don't care what outsiders say about them.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:25 PM

*** IMPORTANT *** Misogyny found on the internet, so be careful out there

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:25 PM

Sochi.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:27 PM

Still waiting, 11:39.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:28 PM

Fucked up sochi toilets > pussy riot

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

I'm not surprised that these women showed up here in the U.S. and are now being feted, hanging with celebs, getting lot of press and dining at the Spotted Pig -- rather than staying home in Russia and resuming their lives. What's next, a reality show?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:45 PM

Nadya, get moose and squirrel

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 12:48 PM

i'm still waiting for the commando crotch shots

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 1:06 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

****************BEST COMMENT****************

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 1:06 PM

These girls should run my new health care law

Posted by Barack Obama | February 6, 2014 1:53 PM

These girls should go back to Russia and talk about Russian Prison reform. We have our own problems here. And maybe if they stopped doing dumb things they can stay out of prison. Paling up with Madonna by the way is a dumb thing!

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 2:15 PM

If Puusy Riot is breaking up, my band Taint Rebellion is happy to take their place.

Posted by xTAINTx | February 6, 2014 2:30 PM

did anyone ask Brighton Beach what they think?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 2:35 PM

Anus Turmoil™

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 2:36 PM

Pubic Entanglements

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 3:09 PM

Dick Revolution

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 3:35 PM

***READ THIS NOW*** Why must Madonna stick her wrinkled old witch nose in everything? She tries so hard to appear youthful and sexual, and frankly it just makes me SICK! She is a parasite of youth culture.

Posted by Nadia | February 6, 2014 3:50 PM

headline: "Pussy Riot says..."

article says: "still-anonymous members of Pussy Riot sent out an open letter..."

not the same thing, sorry. the headline is in error.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 3:52 PM

At this point PR has no choice but to disassociate with these two, for a very obvious reason. These two are being watched like hawks and any sort of contact (be it personal or electronic) exposes the other members.

And these two women realize that, so they've taken on an advocacy role. Douchy fundraisers aside, what else do you expect them to do at this point?

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 4:03 PM

I believe the Douchy Fundraisers are playing Bowery Ballroom in April.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 4:12 PM

Douchy Fundraisers totally turned their backs on NYCHC hardcore a long time ago.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 4:14 PM

***GOOD POINT*** The other Pussy Riot members are just jealous because Nadya is sexy and they have to wear masks because they are ugly.

Posted by ***NEWS*** | February 6, 2014 4:58 PM

Note to Madonna / Flaming Lips / Sean Lennon and all "artists" associated with this event/travesty: Your hilarious brands of "for-profit music" doesn't equal an actual "benefit" to anyone other then your own Sad PR. Please stop riding the coat-tails of events that (had) good intentions. Lastly, Pussy Riot is (and always has been) a terrible (and one might say talentless) group. Glad we could clear this up.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 5:12 PM

Being a misogynist is terrible. But being a misandrist however, just fine.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 7:09 PM

Revolutionaries sure love branding.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 7:20 PM

Nadia is slamming

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 8:35 PM

Both are hot. Russian women and eastern European women as a whole are. One of the pluses of NYC. But like every other ethnic group here, aside from the monocultured Germanic/Anglo/whatever mix from outside the city, tend to stick to their enclaves.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 9:10 PM

^ Just had a double toilet installed.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 9:21 PM

What cunts. They do even know what the fuck they stand for anymore. As a woman who strongly believes in the Pussy Riot movement, I most certainly can no longer believe in these two hypocrites. SELL FUCKING OUTS

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:01 PM

anus jihad

Posted by anus jihad | February 6, 2014 10:37 PM

10:01: How are they sell-outs? More than likely, they're hardly aware of what all this shit is in the US and saw an opportunity to get their message out. Amnesty International has a good reputation, but they're also known for being a magnet for smug, wealthy and celebrity liberals in the US. Do you think those 2 are aware of that? Most Americans aren't unless they attend, or are aware of, AI events. I don't know what made them think a private get together at the Spotted Pig was a good idea, but I'm guessing it was presented to them in a way that didn't seem elitist. NYC is full of highly manipulative people. They hardly even speak English well.

I agree with the core Pussy Riot group in the sense that what they're doing now does not align with the way they believe in reaching out to and performing for/with the public. It doesn't mean they're sell-outs. If it turns out they're exploiting their past simply to get money and famous, then I'll agree that they're sell-outs.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 10:58 PM

change the o to an a on the sign in the picture

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 11:40 PM

12:56 AM Yes, my jail!

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 1:04 AM

while the organizers smartly called for people to buy expensive tickets.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 1:48 AM

now they are free to join the Femen and air out their differences. which group would you rather pay to see?

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 2:06 AM

Do Pussy Riot have a CD?

Posted by OT | February 7, 2014 2:31 AM

if by CD you mean, "cloudy discharge", then yes, they have a CD.

Posted by fistula putsch | February 7, 2014 3:08 AM

Good for Pussy Riot. These two girls, albeit with good intentions, have become the face of Pussy Riot, and until I read this letter.. I wouldn't have known anything other then that.

I applaud the collective for pointing out the conflicts of interest, but at the same time.. I support these two on their mission to shed light on the Russian prison injustices.

Its better to set the record straight sooner, rather then later.

Posted by John Drefahl | February 7, 2014 3:48 AM

The one on the right is hot. The one on the left—eeeeeeeeeehhh NOT SO MUCH!

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 3:50 AM

They can spit out their manifesto all they want but I feel they are simply jealous of Masha and Nadia. The haters can say all they want about a certain pop star who is probably more hardcore then them. ‪#‎ungrateful

Posted by Michael | February 7, 2014 3:59 AM

"Waaahhh, we were unjustly jailed for two entire years and now we're upset because our two other band members are gaining publicity for our fucked up story! Waaahhh, troo punx don't give a shit about society, we are teh troo punx! We are the punxiety! Waaaahhhh, you're not a member of my band if you don't mindlessly convert every single one of your points of view to mine!! Fuck changing Russia's government! WE ARE THE PUNXIETY! Waaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!! Waaaaaaaahhh!!!!! Waaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!"

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 3:59 AM

I've never seen so many stupid comments on one post. Do some research to back up your commentary or just shut up.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 4:22 AM

231 Yes they do. It's just them complaining about Putin over and over until Madonna shows up and screams "You can dance....if you want to".

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 4:38 AM

I saw a russian porn where a girl went poop poop on the snowy russian ground. Does that count?

Posted by James Elenidis | February 7, 2014 4:39 AM

So how was Pussy Riot's performance at the Barklays?

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 5:16 AM

Seriously. Do they have any albums?

Posted by James Elenidis | February 7, 2014 6:11 AM

Everyone should take a lesson from Crass. Say what you have to say and then depart into the exile of your personal lives before you become redundant or cliche...

Posted by Terry Bueneman | February 7, 2014 6:37 AM

This "band" Pussy Riot has no album and the few songs they do have sound like they were recorded in a cement mixer. They are absolutely talentless and real punk rockers laugh at them. Just a bunch of clowns who should stop messing in churches.

Posted by Joey Ramone | February 7, 2014 8:20 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrLI-5xYybo

It almost sounds like shitty nu-metal to me. Absolutely atrocious.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 9:35 AM

Hmm, Maybe Nadya and Masha aren't stupid.Maybe they're evolving ideologically. covering they're face won't change those things.
As for Pussy Riot, I've heard and read less intelligent creeds and manifestos, but to live in Russia and suffer by a govt that is a hold over from "communist" Russia, and maintaining an anti capitalist leftist philosophy without having learned what the result of communism is.... I guess the instruction of fools is folly. these millennial idiots must have learned nothing from their cold war parents.

Posted by penis riot | February 7, 2014 9:42 AM

@ "Joey Ramone" sounds like you really have no idea what punk is. It's not a talent contest, or a competition of who has albums or not... It is a demonstration that art is what art is, no what douches like you tell us it is.

Posted by penis riot | February 7, 2014 9:52 AM

It is good to see thecollective is sticking to their ideals, I know some cannot/will not be willing to comprehend anticapitalist ideology.

Posted by dove paige anthony | February 7, 2014 12:11 PM

It reminds me of when Justin started acting and left his NSYNC comrades behind.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 12:37 PM

Fuck off, 10:56. Misogynistic asshole.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 5:26 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:28 PM

Feminism in the Middle East: I want to drive this car, go to school and maybe not cover my face up.

Feminism in Europe: No! Cars are imperialist, schools brainwash and you need to cover your face up or you'll be expoited!

Feminism in the Americas: These tits make money so I'm gonna put 'em to work. Don't hate, bitches.

Meanwhile...Susan G Komen presnets the Superbowl XLIX halftime with Pussy Riot, jr, featuring former members of Pussy Riot!

Well done, feminism. You're right again. You always are.

Posted by Just Some Dumb Dude | February 7, 2014 6:52 PM

Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina are no longer members of Pussy Riot

Posted by Dupre | February 10, 2014 1:48 PM

Wow man, this achieves total heavyocity. Man.

Posted by Kissel | February 19, 2014 12:40 PM

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