Voina, Russia's Prize-Winning Anarchist Art Collective, Spawns an All-Female Anti-Putin Punk Group

  • Posted on: 19 March 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://artinfo.com/news/story/779263/voina-russias-prize-winning-anarchi... Info</a>

Voina, the infamous Russian art collective known for making art out of vandalism and other pranks, remains best-known for a very male image: a 65-foot drawing of a penis on a St. Petersburg drawbridge (a work for which the group won Russia's Innovation art prize). Now, a handful of Voina members have broken away to form a Riot Grrl-influenced all-female group that is putting a feminist spin on Voina's wild-eyed aesthetic. Wearing purple and yellow dresses and neon-colored ski masks, the splinter group known as Pussy Riot has gathered attention since its formation in winter 2011 for performing unauthorized punk rock concerts in public, letting loose songs with lyrics that decry the alleged ballot-rigging in recent parliamentary elections. And like the group from which it was formed, Pussy Riot has already run afoul of the Russian authorities.</td><td><img title="Loved their demo. Hate them now." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/pussyriot.jpg"></td></tr></...

Earlier this month two members were taken in by Russian police after performing the song "Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, Expel Putin!" next to the altar at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. A third member was arrested on Friday on charges of "hooligan behavior." While some have viewed the arrests as clumsy acts of intimidation (Voina co-founder Natalia Sokol was once arrested and detained with her infant son for one night without being charged), the three women face prison sentences of up to eight years.

Much like the Russian anarchist collective of which its members are alums — whose initiatives have included firebombing a police tank — Pussy Riot has become willfully identified with chaos, illegality, and dissent in their music and public statements. In light of a demonstration for which Voina members snuck guitars and amplifiers into a courtroom during the trial of members Andrei Yerofeev and Yuri Samodurov, the spinoff's punk rock aesthetic should hardly come as a surprise.

Pussy Riot's members are cagey in their relations with the press, simultaneously seeking attention while avoiding direct engagement. They wear masks to preserve their anonymity, and operate under nicknames such as Balaklava, Cat, Seraph, Terminator, Blondie, and Garadzha. After the recent brush with the law, a band member calling herself Shayba was interviewed by the Financial Times via Skype, connecting the group's Riot Grrl feminism with its opposition to prime minister (and president-elect) Vladmir Putin. While Voina's members have described Putin as the personification of corruption and unchecked power in Russian politics, for Pussy Riot, he is also a symbol of a thuggish, grandiose masculinity that oppresses Russian women. Putin, said Shayba, “has repeatedly made sexist statements that the main task of women is child bearing and being in a passive position relative to men."



IN BEFORE ....! oh wait

Pussy Riot! Awesome.

it should really read 'anti-art collective', basic anarchist theory duh!


PS any desire for 'prize' is un-anarchistic. Thus, as one commenter reminded us, this is an identity trip, just as Dostoevsky (in his soap-operatic newspaper installments to monarchist civil-servents) portrayed anarcho/nihilists as being curiosities for amusement and flippant ridicule. Dostoevsky, from his petit bourgeois foundations, perpetuates the Russian people's stagnation of consciousness, how their ethos is still modelled on 19th and 20th century values.
Maybe Chagall, as an 'artist' came closest to rupturing feudal hegemony in Russia, and not these popular hypsters.


Actually I change my opinion of Chagall to being, like Picasso, a pawn of the capitalist marketplace.


Dont want to get in between you and you here, but Dostoyevsky was not simply ridiculing anarcho/nihilists, as I think you know.

get in between, no-one else around, umm, I don't know, 2 books I read by him left me enthralled yet unmoved, possibly a nihilist's opinion of an existentialist, the idiot, and crime and punishment. kafka's metamorphosis had me laughing and tearing the rational hair out of my head, the castle, wishing for a wrecking-ball, also sartre, nausea...They left Dostoevsky behind in their vision...


I'm sure you think you're awesome but most people don't really give a shit about your dead writers and isms and shit. These women are having a positive effect on the political changes going on in Russia, and they are facing major prison time. What are you doing? I mean, besides ranting to yourself about Dostoevsky?

Gunter always rants to himself and signs his name like that.
Often he talks about medication and reinterpreting mental illness (hint hint)

Medicate or STFU!

>having a positive effect
Appeal to nihilists 101.

nihilism is nothing more than questioning or acting contrary. The perfect anarcho-nihilist doubles as the dominant capitalist. Obama or Santorum if you will. Everyone else talks shit out their ass cause "nihilist" sounds sexy. Any anarchist nihilist who isn't in prison after 3 years is a fucking poser. Either fuck shit up or just get off of the toilet.

Anarchy isn't limited - perception doesn't have one flavor, ultimately, what you concieve of as 'reality' is what you say it is - that's on you - I relate most to Tao Anarchy - and that's about "unfucking" shit up - becasue the shit's already fucked up...

name a subject - chances are good we can discuss what's fucked up about it - case in point - shouldn't that change? If so - then it's more about unfukcing it up...

You seem to be arguing methodologies - method is also relative - it depends on the outcome you're attempting to create...

fucking shit up for the hell of it is a zero sum game... if points count - what is yours?

You have no idea what nihilism is.
Politically, nihilism is revolt without a positive vision for a future society.
Morally, nihilism is a rejection of all reified values and imperatives.
Aesthetically, nihilism is rejecting the demands of reified beauty.
Medically, nihilism is a rejection of the ideal of health.

Not hard to understand.
And getting imprisoned isn't a reliable measure of how much negation someone gets up to.

Please learn about a topic before offering your inane opinions on it.

Men are thuggish, women are liberators...cool!

"Often ‘The Left’, more so than ‘The Right’, will be the primary target of our critique. We will not be nailed down by pre-fixes or isms. The sorry band of militants needs a shake-up."

SO then the NATO capitalists don't get to have as much criticism as the Russian communists... right.

Pro-NATO anarcho-punks?

What do ya think?

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