Pussy Riot: Russia’s Feminist Punk Rock Protest Legend To Perform At Chicago Market Days Festival

Facebook
Twitter
Email

Pussy Riot: Russia’s Feminist Punk Rock Protest Legend To Perform At Chicago Market Days Festival

This year’s Chicago Market Days festival is set to occur between August 12th and 13th, and the incredible lineup is already catching the eye. Alongside their usual diverse roster of artists (including many Queer/LGBTQ+ performers), this year will also give audiences a chance to hear the outstanding work of Nadya Tolokonnikova – the founding member of Pussy Riot.

Pussy Riot Feature

Who Are Pussy Riot?

There’s nothing more faithful to the spirit of punk rock than having the courage to speak out against tyranny, and that’s precisely what Pussy Riot has been doing for over a decade. Between their gorilla-style public performance and their use of powerful and provocative imagery, they’ve built up a platform of protest in defense of the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people that seeks to threaten Russian propaganda and spread the spirit of resistance.

In their performances, the group is also known for wearing multi-colored balaclavas to cover their faces, to the point that this has become a symbol for them. Indeed, when Nadya Tolokonnikova’s former husband attempted to represent the group while several prominent members (including Nadya herself) were in prison, they released a statement clarifying that:

"The only person who can legitimately represent [Pussy Riot] is a girl in a balaclava."

Music

In terms of their music, each song comes with a solid and clear message, reinforced by memorable music videos. For example, their 2017 track “Police State” is a chilling portrayal of the grim reality of police violence. While the song is sad and almost dreamlike, the video leaves the viewer doubtless about the song’s distressing subject matter.

Their various tracks have targeted various issues but almost always focus on issues of state violence and the need to remove Vladimir Putin from power. They’ve also released several tracks protesting the Trump presidency, such as “Make America Great Again” and the aforementioned “Police State.”

Activism And Arrests

Following a 2012 protest staged in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Tolokonnikova and fellow activists Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina were arrested, with both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova ultimately fleeing the country following multiple years in prison. Since then, both have continued to perform under the name Pussy Riot, spreading their message worldwide.

In 2023, Tolokonnikova was added to Russia’s most-wanted list. Her response to this came in the form of an Instagram post captioned with the words: “Oopsie, I was just added to Russia’s federal wanted list.”

Pussy Riot Internal

Pussy Riot At Chicago Market Days

While the band has no official lineup, there are hundreds of people worldwide who are proud to call themselves members of Pussy Riot and perform under that name. At this year’s Market Days Festival, attendees can expect a performance from Nadya Tolokonnikova herself.

She’ll perform from 2:30 to 3:30 on the NÜRTL Vodka Seltzer Stage on Saturday, the 12th of August.

"The supreme, sacred, holy rule in Putin's Russia is to remain afraid. We decided to break this rule. By breaking this rule, we disrupted the game."
Nadya Tolokonnikova

more features

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Search
Close this search box.