Billie Walker

PUSSY ON TOUR

Since releasing the video for the brilliantly titled Straight Outta Vagina this time last year, Pussy Riot’s chorus has become the mantra to my feminist existence: “Don’t play stupid, don’t play dumb, vagina’s where you’re really from.” This powerful Russian feminist protest punk anthem – that rightly dubs Maya Angelou as the “8th World Wonder” – is just another example in a long line of packed punches thrown at the patriarchy by Pussy Riot.

After gaining global notoriety from their protest performance in Moscow’s Church of Christ the Savior in 2012, their trials gained recognition and the Russian states criminalization of Pussy Riot heavily criticized. Whilst Yekaterina Samutsevich was freed after an appeal, her fellow comrades Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina sentences were upheld and the two women were only released after 21 months.

The cruel treatment of these politically motivated women has not deterred them from their plight. They have used their global fame to continue their work, through a House of Cards cameo and visually iconic music videos such as Make America Great Again.

Maria Alyokhina, who has been the recipient of both the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace and the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought, has recently released her memoir Riot Days. To accompany this September publishing the group are touring play RIOT DAYS (“Revolution”), which is said to merge punk, electronica, theatre, documentary footage and protest. Quite a mouthful, yes, but knowing the creative ability of these incredible women it is sure to be a seamlessly assembled production.

Their UK Tour of PUSSY RIOT: RIOT DAYS lands in Manchester on the 20th November and promises to be night full of songs highlighting themes as Feminism, LGBT+ rights and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pussy Riot’s infamous compilation of strong anti-establishment ideals and loud visuals should make for an unapologetically fierce spectacle. “This vagina” is really looking forward to seeing what sort of rambunctious performance these current feminist idols bring to Gorilla. And if like me, you are in need of a dose of boisterous punk politics this is not one to miss.

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