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Marina Abramović Condemns Imprisonment of Pussy Riot Following Anti-Putin World Cup Protest

‘I am for free Pussy Riot,’ the performance artist says, in solidarity with jailed members of the Russian punk-feminist collective

Screenshot of Marina Abramović’s statement in solidarity with Pussy Riot, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter

Screenshot of Marina Abramović’s statement of solidarity with Pussy Riot, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter

Screenshot of Marina Abramović’s statement of solidarity with Pussy Riot, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter

Performance artist Marina Abramović has condemned the imprisonment of members of Russian punk-feminist art collective Pussy Riot, after they staged an on-pitch protest at the World Cup final on 15 July.

In a film posted to Pussy Riot’s Twitter account, Abramović is seen wearing a red balaclava (the collective’s signature headgear) and with her fist raised, declares ‘I am for Free Pussy Riot.’ She joins Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and musician Charli XCX in expressing support for the group’s World Cup protest.

Four members of Pussy Riot – Olga Kuracheva, Veronica Nikulshina, Olga Pakhtusova and Peta Verzilov – each received sentences of 15 days in prison. They invaded the pitch while wearing police uniforms during the World Cup final between France and Croatia, at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Pussy Riot later declared the protest a call for Russian authorities to free political prisoners and halt the suppression of opposition politics in the country.

Writing in frieze, Aliide Naylor argued that the collective’s anti-Kremlin protest was a crucial reminder of what, despite the optimistic celebration of the World Cup, Russia’s new ‘normality’ really consists of: the persecution of antifascists and the LGBT community, and the strangulation of independent media and alternative political movements. ‘Pussy Riot storming the World Cup pitch reminded us that this happy, welcoming spectacle has a far darker side,’ Naylor wrote.

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