Pussy Riot Removes Nadya Tolokonnikova And Masha Alyokhina From The Band

Pussy Riot

Following their release from a well-documented and highly controversial imprisonment in Russia, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, two members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, have been kicked out of the group by the other members of the band.

In a statement released on Pussy Riot’s LiveJournal page, the other members of the band explained their reasoning for parting ways with Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina.

Unfortunately for us, [Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina] 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.

The group also took offense to Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s appearance at Barclays Center in New York for an Amnesty International event, which used a poster depicting a man in a balaclava to represent Pussy Riot as promotion.

Moreover, instead of the names of Nadia and Masha, the poster of the 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 artwork, 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.

The group has not been in direct contact with Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, but still expressed their support to the freed members, as well as thanking anyone who has supported them during this ordeal. You can read the full statement in the original Russian here. You can read an English translation here.

The campaign “Free Pussy Riot ” is over. We, as art collective, have an ethical right to preserve our art practice, our name and our visual identity, distinct from other organizations.

John Bazley

John Bazley was raised in central New Jersey by the romantic aura of the Asbury Park beachfront, punk rock, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. He is still trying to figure all of this stuff out.

In addition to UTG, John has contributed to Alternative Press and Full Frequency Media. Follow him on Twitter for pictures of his dog.
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