“I have loved the Pussy Riot because in their interviews, the band members actually say that they wanted to take the idea of the female sex organs which is denigrated in every culture as we know, and they have taken that, and said specifically: ‘We are going to make this the sight of rebellion against the patriarchal order’ and I think that that’s one of the reasons why their challenging Putin is so powerful. Because a man like Putin, the last he ever expected was to have to deal with a bunch of women which call themselves after the ‘vagina’ […]

This is a very important moment for the return of feminism and for realizing that what these young women are saying in Russia in a very articulate way is nevertheless similar [to what is been told in other protests]; this is giving to the current protests a kind of strength and a sense of identification that would have not occurred otherwise”.

Joan Alison Smith is an English journalist, writer and human rights activist. Former president of the Writers in Prison Committee for the English section of International PEN and Executive Director of Hacked Off.  In this interview she talks about Pussy Riot: a Russian feminist punk rock politically engaged group which, in the last decade, has organized protests for the development of democracy, for women rights and for the rights of the LGBT community, both in Russia and in other parts of the world. Due to their protests – the most famous of them being conducted in a Cristian-Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow – the members of the group have been repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the Russian Authorities.


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