Sunday, August 12, 2012

Girl power

"A punk-feminist collective, Pussy Riot is a band of political rebel-artists who, faced with years in a Russian prison, turn out to be courageous, self-possessed, and historically aware. And in their testimony they have shown themselves to be defiantly intelligent, worthy of the long tradition of Andrei Sinyavsky, Larisa Bogoraz, Joseph Brodsky, and so many other dissidents who stood in the dock and spoke for themselves and the cause of freedom.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a mother in her early twenties, and an artist of fearless eloquence, thanked the group’s myriad supporters... those abroad but especially those in Russia... and linked their cause to that great tradition: to Socrates; to Dostoevsky and to Solzhenitsyn, who once wrote, as she quotes him, “the word is more sincere than concrete, so words are not trifles. Once noble people mobilize, their words will crush concrete.” Her closing statement is a kind of instant classic in the anthology of dissidence. 

And that has been the Pussy Riot credo all along in court: the true verdict will be a verdict on the regime, not them. The women of Pussy Riot, like Sinyavsky and Brodsky before them, have spoken with the confidence of free people who know that their words... not least their closing statements—will outlive their persecutors, both in the courtroom and the Kremlin."

Read more from the New Yorker Magazine here.

By all means watch the performance of the Spice Girls at tonight's Olympic closing ceremony. But think of Pussy Riot when doing so.

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