Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot) at the Moscow Tagansky District Court (crop).jpg
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the Moscow Tagansky District Court
Native nameНадежда Андреевна Толоконникова
Born(1989-11-07) November 7, 1989 (age 23)
Norilsk, Russia
ResidenceMoscow
NationalityRussian
Other namesNadya Tolokno (Надя Толокно)
EducationMoscow State University
OccupationStudent, Political Activist, Performance Artist
Years active2008 to present
OrganizationVoina, Pussy Riot
Known forProvocative political protests; imprisonment for hooliganism
Opponent(s)Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill I
Criminal chargeHooliganism motivated by religious hatred
Criminal penalty2 years imprisonment
Criminal statusconvicted on August 17, 2012
Spouse(s)Pyotr Verzilov
ChildrenGera
AwardsLennonOno Grant for Peace
Website
pussy-riot.livejournal.com
 
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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot) at the Moscow Tagansky District Court (crop).jpg
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the Moscow Tagansky District Court
Native nameНадежда Андреевна Толоконникова
Born(1989-11-07) November 7, 1989 (age 23)
Norilsk, Russia
ResidenceMoscow
NationalityRussian
Other namesNadya Tolokno (Надя Толокно)
EducationMoscow State University
OccupationStudent, Political Activist, Performance Artist
Years active2008 to present
OrganizationVoina, Pussy Riot
Known forProvocative political protests; imprisonment for hooliganism
Opponent(s)Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill I
Criminal chargeHooliganism motivated by religious hatred
Criminal penalty2 years imprisonment
Criminal statusconvicted on August 17, 2012
Spouse(s)Pyotr Verzilov
ChildrenGera
AwardsLennonOno Grant for Peace
Website
pussy-riot.livejournal.com

Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova (Russian: Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова; born November 7, 1989 in Norilsk),[1][2] also known as “Nadya Tolokno” (Надя Толокно),[note 1] is a Russian political activist. She is a member of the anti-Putinist[3] punk rock group Pussy Riot. On August 17, 2012, she was convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She has been recognized as a political prisoner by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners.[4] Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities.”[3]

Tolokonnikova walking with Pyotr Verzilov (L.) in the June 2007 Dissenters' March

She is a philosophy student at Moscow State University with a history of political activism with the street-art group Voina. She is married to Pyotr Verzilov and has a daughter, Gera, whom they named after the Greek goddess Hera.[5] Her first name means “hope” in Russian. She has Canadian permanent resident status and her husband is a dual citizen of Canada and Russia. There was speculation that Canadian authorities might attempt to intervene in the case,[2][6] but this did not occur. Tolokonnikova is serving the remainder of her two-year sentence in the IK-14 women's penal colony in the Republic of Mordovia.[7]

Tolokonnikova at a protest on 4 February 2012

In a letter from prison after her sentence was upheld, Tolokonnikova disowned the actions of her husband, accusing him of having co-opted Pussy Riot by acting as its frontman without their consent.[8] “His statements are lies, in the name of giving himself the status of the founder and legal representative of Pussy Riot, when in fact, he is not. Actually, Pyotr Verzilov has occupied Pussy Riot through this strange, quasi-fraudulent activity. As a representative of the group, I am outraged.”[9] Verzilov, who had previously stated himself that he was not an official representative of Pussy Riot,[10] declined to comment, saying he wanted to find out what happened first. Yekaterina Samutsevich also expressed surprise at the letter, which was also signed, in prison, by Maria Alyokhina.

Tolokonnikova has been a member of the Voina collective since 2007.[11] Tolokonnikova was part of a performance in which couples were filmed having sex in the Biology Museum in Moscow in February 2008[12] which has been called an “orgy” by the media.[13] Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was at the time heavily pregnant.[14] Tolokonnikova was among the Voina members who disrupted a trial for the director of the Andrei Sakharov Center in 2009.[15][16]

In 2010, Tolokonnikova was among the Voina activists who attempted to release live cockroaches into the Tagansky Courthouse; the extent to which they succeeded in this action is disputed. She was later prosecuted in the same building for their involvement in Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer”.[12] She also took part in a series of actions, Operation Kiss Garbage,[17] from January through March 2011. This project comprised female members’ kissing policewomen in Moscow metro stations and on the streets. It was primarily an anti-government protest, but also controversial because the non-consensual “ambush kissing” could be considered sexual assault.[18]

Notes

  1. ^ In Russian, tolokno (толокно) means the finely milled flour mixture known as kama.

References

  1. ^ "Дело группы Pussy Riot". March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b John Bowman (August 17, 2012). "UPDATE: Should Canada intervene in the Pussy Riot case?". CBC. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. 
  3. ^ a b "Russia: Release punk singers held after performance in church". Amnesty International. April 3, 2012. Archived from the original on 23 Jul 2012. 
  4. ^ "Троих предполагаемых участниц Pussy Riot признали политзаключенными" [Three of the alleged participants of Pussy Riot recognized as political prisoners]. Росбалт (in Russian). March 25, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12.  Google translation.
  5. ^ Miriam Elder (August 8, 2012). "Pussy Riot profile: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Philosophy student Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been described as the evil genius behind Pussy Riot". The Guardian (Moscow). Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pussy Riot's Canadian Connection". CBC. May 17, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. 
  7. ^ "Алехиной разрешат мультики, а Толоконниковой запретят кипятильники ("Alyokhina to have access to cartoons, Tolokonnikova to be denied water heaters")" (in Russian). Moskovsky Komsomolets. October 23, 2012. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jailed Pussy Riot Disown Quasi-Con-man Pyotr Verzilov". Animal New York, October 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Участница Pussy Riot назвала своего мужа мошенником (Pussy Riot Member Calls Her Husband a Fraud)". RBC.ru, October 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ "2 официальных заявления (2 official statements)". Echo Moscow, October 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Thomas Peter. "Witness to Pussy Riot's activist beginnings". Reuters, August 16, 2012. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Перед приговором секс-символ Pussy Riot в письме сторонникам заявила о победе: "Трудно поверить, что это не сон"". Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. , NEWSru.
  13. ^ "Организация "Народный собор" снова подогревает интерес прокуратуры к предвыборной оргии в поддержку "наследника Медвежонка"". Newsru.com. October 24, 2008. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ Pictures from the “Act” Hipster Runoff, August 20, 2012
  15. ^ Forrest Muelrath. "Voina, Art Insurrectionists". Bombsite.com, January 10, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ Christian Riveros-Faune. "The New Realism". Art in America Magazine, June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ Miriam Elder. "Radical Russian art group shows love for the police, Voina showers female police officers with kisses". Global Post, March 1, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Девушки из арт-группы "Война" насильно целуют женщин-милиционеров (ВИДЕО)". Newsru.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.