Pussy Riot brings post punk feminism to the Turf Club

The show sold out quickly and apparently everyone with a permanent guest pass showed up for Pussy Riot at the Turf Club.

I think most folks (who remember Pussy Riot) remember when they were arrested and detained for staging a protest performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. They were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and at two of the members spent two years in jail.

I had no idea of what I might be walking into when I showed up. The night started with an interview with one of the members – Nadya. She talked about why the members do what they do and introduced their media channel – Media Zonna. It was interesting to hear about what it’s like to want to bring the news to Russia and other places where the government wants to control every message. In short, she said that all of their partners have decided that they are at peace with whatever should happen to them should they be detained for their work. Frightening and inspiring.

Nadya recognized that art can amplify a message. She didn’t use the word apathy but called people back to a time – the 1960s and 1970s – when people were more political. Art and music will make politics cool again. They are tools we can use to engage people.

Nadya asked what was the call to action for everyone attending? A pointed question. And the answer was to invite everyone to get engaged in politics and bring a friend. It was an invitation to go to the Capitol, to talk to legislators – not just during protests but on regular days to tell them how you feel. It was a good suggestion. Politicians who want to stay in office listen to voters. They try to represent their constituents. But they need to hear from all voters to do that.

The second set was music – techno pop, super energetic pounding beats. It is what I used to heard in discos in Catalonia back in the 1990s. But that music is fun. Some songs were in English; some in Russian (with subtitles).

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