Annonymous Pussy Riot Members Say Nadia Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina Are ‘Out of the Group’

Hours before Nadia Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina appeared at an Amnesty International benefit concert in New York last night that also featured Lauryn Hill, Yoko Ono, Madonna, Flaming Lips and others, the anonymous members of the Pussy Riot collective posted on the group’s Livejournal a letter criticizing the two women and stating that “it is no secret that Masha and Nadia are out of the group.”

The letter was also sent to the group’s supporters, according to Pitchfork.

Backstage at the concert, a representative of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina said they “had no comment about the letter, and may not have been aware of it,” the New York Times reported.

Here’s some of the letter:

We are very pleased with Masha’s and Nadia’s release. We are proud of their resistance against harsh trials that fell to their lot, and their determination by all means to continue the struggle that they had started during their stay in the colonies.

Unfortunately for us, they are being so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons, that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group—feminism, separatist resistance, fight against authoritarianism and personality cult, all of which, as a matter of fact, was the cause for their unjust punishment.

Practically every interview they repeat what they got out of the group, they are no longer Pussy Riot, and act in my own name, that they will no longer be engaged in art activities, etc. However, the headlines are still full of the group’s name, all of their public performances as performances announce Pussy Riot, and their application for withdrawal is treated as termination of the entire group Pussy Riot, ignoring the fact that at the pulpit and solea were not two, but five women Balaclava, and on Calvary our participants was eight…

Moreover, instead of the names of Nadia and Masha, the poster of the [Amnesty International] event showed a man in a balaclava with electric guitar, under the name of Pussy Riot, while the organizers smartly called for people to buy expensive tickets. All this is an extreme contradiction to the very principles of Pussy Riot collective: We are all-female separatist collective—no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality. We belong to leftist anti-capitalist ideology—we charge no fees for viewing our art-work, all our videos are distributed freely on the web, the spectators to our performances are always spontaneous passers by, and we never sell tickets to our ‘shows’.

Our performances are always ‘illegal’, staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. The distribution of our clips is always through free and unrestricted media channels. We are anonymous, because we act against any personality cult, against hierarchies implied by appearance, age and other visible social attributes. We cover our heads, because we oppose the very idea of using female face as a trademark for promoting any sort of goods or services.

The mixing of the rebel feminist punk image with the image of institutionalised defenders of prisoners’ rights, is harmful for us as collective, as well as it is harmful for the new role that Nadia and Masha have taken on.

Yes, we lost two friends, two ideological fellow member, but the world has acquired two brave, interesting, controversial human rights defenders.We appreciate their choice and sincerely wish them well in their new career.”

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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