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Reading and Rioting: An Introduction to Pussy Riot Activism / Author: Nadya Tolokonnikova (Translated by Momo Nonaka)

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・Release date: late April 2024

・Includes a sticker exclusive to purchasers from this store (limited quantity, while stocks last)

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Russian feminist punk protest art collective
Pussy Riot founding members

A unique survival guide that introduces the practical knowledge needed to survive in the modern world based on 10 rules.

"Why did Putin's Russia send me to prison? I was 22 years old, penniless, and a young mother of a three-year-old girl. I was a woman artist in a patriarchal world, and a student writing a graduate thesis on Diogenes, the philosophy of action, and queer identity." (From the text)

"A raucous blend of memoir and call to action from the founding member of Putin's most hated band, Pussy Riot" -- Kirkus Reviews

Colorful balaclavas. Provocative live performances. Invading the FIFA World Cup finals. From the time they were formed to the present day, the Russian feminist punk protest art group Pussy Riot has always been a center of attention. What kind of group is it? Why was it formed? What is its true purpose? This book is a translation of "Read & Riot" (2018), a book revealing the full story of the group by Nadya Tolokonnikova, a founding member of Pussy Riot.

This book is a memoir by Tolokonnikova that details the background to the founding of Pussy Riot, the various actions they took within Russia, and even the extremely harsh life in prison after their arrest by Russian authorities, but it can also be seen as a survival guide, sharing the practical knowledge the author gained from these experiences.

What does it mean to be a feminist and queer in Russia? What role does activism play in society? How do art and activism intersect? Tolokonnikova, an activist who has lectured at Harvard and Cambridge universities and an artist in the same lineage as Ai Weiwei, Jenny Holzer, and Judy Chicago, answers these questions with a wealth of humor, quoting everything from Kant to Nina Simone, and Wittgenstein to punk lyrics.

The book also includes afterwords by Kim Gordon (musician) and Olivia Wilde (director and actor of "Booksmart"), a preface written by the author specifically for the Japanese edition, commentary by Tomoko Shimizu (professor at Tokyo University of the Arts) who specializes in cultural theory and media culture theory, and "A Pussy Riot Recommended Book List." The book was translated by Momo Nonaka and designed by Atsushi Yamanaka.

[Philosophers, artists, and activists featured in this book]
Peter Sloterdijk / Pasolini / Foucault / Villon / Mayakovsky / Diogenes / Michael Stipe / Proudhon / Kant / Chomsky / DA Prigov / Tristan Tzara / Hugo Ball / Ai Weiwei / Naomi Klein / Timothy Snyder / Martin Luther King Jr. / Alexandra Kollontai / Oleg Krieg / Kazimir Malevich / Marx / Diaghilev / Debord / Godard / Brecht / Barthes / Wolfgang Streeck / S Tiglitz / Saul Alinsky / Erich Fromm / Solzhenitsyn / George Orwell / Howard Zinn / Dostoevsky / Angela Davis / Kropotkin / Emma Goldman / Solzhenitsyn / Yuri Galanskov / James H. Cone / Richard Rorty / Ivan Illich / Timothy Snyder / Betty Friedan / Frantz Fanon / Beauvoir / Judith Butler / bell hooks / Nina Simone / Le Guin / Wittgenstein, etc.

【table of contents】
Artists as Cultural Workers - Preface to the Japanese EditionIntroductionRule 1: Be a PirateRule 2: Do it YourselfRule 3: Bring back the joyRule 4: Scare the governmentRule 5: Commit an art crimeRule 6: Don't tolerate abuse of powerRule 7: Don't give up easily. Resist. Unite.
Rule 8: Escape from prisonRule 9: Create an alternativeRule 10: Be a (Wo)manFinal statement: Hope is born from despairOn this book: Kim GordonOn this book: Olivia WildeCommentary: Tomoko Shimizu (Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts)
End of book content: A Pussy Riot recommended book list

[A brief history of Pussy Riot in 3 minutes]
Founded in 2011 by students of philosophy and journalism, Moscow-based feminist punk art collective mobilizes in outdoor performances to challenge Russia's patriarchal society and advocate for gender fluidity, laughter, decentralization and anti-authoritarianism.

In 2012, as a protest against President Putin's reelection (third term) and the Russian Orthodox Church, the group wore homemade balaclavas and performed anti-Putin songs in a Moscow cathedral. Three members were arrested, and two (Nadia Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina) were later sentenced to two years in prison.

More than 100 famous musicians, including Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and Radiohead, have voiced their support for the group and called for their release (the two were released in 2013).

In 2014, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina became founding members of Mediazona, an independent news agency that reports on corruption, court cases and prison issues in Russia (it is now affiliated with the British newspaper The Guardian).

In 2018, four members dressed as police officers stormed the pitch at the World Cup final between France and Croatia to draw attention to the political situation in Russia. In 2022, Tolokonnikova founded the NFT art collecting collective "UnicornDAO," which has raised over $7 million for Ukraine.

[Nadia Tolokonnikova]
Artist and activist. Founding member of the international feminist protest art collective Pussy Riot. In 2012, she staged a guerilla performance at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior criticizing President Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. She was convicted and imprisoned for two years. After her release, she founded Zona Prava, a non-governmental organization for prisoners' rights, and Mediazona, an independent news agency. In 2022, she launched UnicornDAO, an NFT art collecting collective that has raised more than $7 million for Ukraine. She is a recipient of the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize and the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought. Hundreds of people now consider themselves part of the Pussy Riot community. Pussy Riot supports gender fluidity, inclusivity, matriarchy, love, laughter, decentralization, anarchy, and anti-authoritarianism. She was born in Norilsk, Siberian Federal District, Russian Federation.

[Momo Nonaka]
Born in Tokyo. Translator and writer. Her translations include "Ongaku no Hataki" (David Byrne, East Press), "Girl in a Band: Kim Gordon's Autobiography" (Kim Gordon, DU BOOKS), "Female Punk Strikes Back: Feminist Music History" (Vivienne Goldman, P-Vine), and "50 Women Scientists Who Changed the World" (Rachel Ignotowski, Sogensha). Her books include "Nonaka Momo's Zine: Making My Own Small Media" (Shobunsha) and "David Bowie: The Transforming Cult Star" (Chikuma Shinsho).

<Bibliographic information>
Title: "Reading and Rioting: An Introduction to Pussy Riot Activism"
Author: Nadya Tolokonnikova
Translated by: Momo Nonaka
Commentary: Tomoko Shimizu (Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts)
Book design: Atsushi Yamanaka
Design: Jun Kawana
Specifications: 304 pages, paperback, 46-size variant
Published/distributed by: So Sweet Publishing Co., Ltd.
Price: 2,600 yen + tax (2,860 yen)
ISBN: 978-4-9912211-4-9

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