Human Rights Activist, Founding Member of Pussy Riot
Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova is an artist, political activist, and founding member of Pussy Riot, the punk rock art collective that garnered international headlines, and support, after several members were sent to jail following a performance in the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Tolokonnikova is the recipient of The Lennon Ono Grant for Peace, and is a co-recipient of The Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought. Following her release in 2013, she opened the Mordovia office of Zona Prava, a prisoners rights non-governmental organization. Later, she started MediaZona, an independent news service now partnered with The Guardian.
She has spoken before the US Congress and British Parliament and has appeared on stage with figures such as Bill Clinton and Muhammad Yunus. Following a meeting with Julian Assange in November 2014, she became a board member of his Courage Foundation. Recently, Tolokonnikova appeared as herself in the hit show House of Cards. She also performed the new Pussy Riot song “Refugees In” as part of the artist Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition in 2015.
One Young World
â€œWhat defines a leader? Courage (...) Itâ€™s been a real privilege to have you here.â€
Comradely Greetings: The Prison Letters of Nadya and Slavoj
“We are the rebels asking for the storm, and believing that truth is only to be found in an endless search ... Two years of prison for Pussy Riot is our tribute to a destiny that gave us sharp ears, allowing us to sound the note A when everyone else is used to hearing G flat.”
In an extraordinary exchange of letters, Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova, imprisoned for taking part in Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin performance, and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek discuss artistic subversion, political activism, and the future of democracy via the ideas of Hegel, Deleuze, Nietzsche, and even Laurie Anderson.
Two radicals, one in a Russian forced labor camp, the other writing to her from far outside its walls, show passionately—across linguistic and generational divides—that “there is still a common cause worth fighting for.” Touching, erudite, and worldly, their correspondence unfolds with poetic urgency.
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