Masha Gessen’s Thoughts on Pussy Riot and Putin

9781594632198H

When reading coverage of Russia’s now infamous Pussy Riot, one may be tempted to ask: are a punk band, an art collective, or a social movement group? The answer, of course, is yes. This is made clear by Masha Gessen in her new book Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot. In the book, Gessen shows how politics, art, and performance are intertwined for the women of Pussy Riot, demonstrating the complicated nature of contemporary protest, something I suspect many readers of Mobilizing Ideas will be interested in.

Additionally, Gessen has been making the rounds to several recent podcasts to talk about the book, as well as about homophobia in Russia, the logic of Putin, and the situation in The Ukraine. She has recently been on NPR’s Fresh Air, Slate’s Live at Politics and Prose, and KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny. Each interview is worth listening and they cover slightly different topics, shifting between wider Russian politics and Pussy Riot more specifically. Through her book and these interviews, Gessen provides both a useful look at a fascinating, outside of the box, contemporary political group as well as a window into current Russian politics.

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