Record Crowd at the Wende Museum for Pussy Riot Founder's Speech on Navalny and Democracy

 

Photo Courtesy of Pussy Riot

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This past Saturday, the Wende Museum hosted an unprecedented audience of approximately 800 attendees, the largest public program in the museum's 21-year history. They gathered for an appearance by Nadya Tolokonnikova, the trailblazing artist and activist who founded the Russian feminist protest art collective Pussy Riot, as part of her pop-up exhibition FEAR NOT, in commemoration of the recent death of Alexei Navalny, the imprisoned Russian opposition leader,

In an impassioned speech, Tolokonnikova denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as "a wounded creature bleeding its poisonous intestines on everyone and everything around." She mourned her friend Navalny, saying that, "In Russia, Navalny is the one who-in a postmodern world of cynicism and relativism-made having a strong moral compass cool again."

Tolokonnikova urged a collective stand for democracy and against authoritarianism, emphasizing the importance of supporting Ukraine, supporting Russian dissidents, and seeking justice for Navalny's death: "Democracy is the most fragile form of human organization, and it's precious. It needs us to show up for it."

After her remarks, Tolokonnikova was interviewed by the Wende Museum's Chief Curator and Director of Programming, Joes Segal. Their discussion explored Pussy Riot's history and the value of art as a form of resistance.

Tolokonnikova's call to action resonated with the Wende Museum's mission of exploring social change, the political power of art, and the continuing impact of the Cold War in shaping our world.

The Wende Museum is pleased to share to a video recording of Nadya Tolokonnikova's talk, along with a photo gallery courtesy of Pussy Riot.

The event, which reached a capacity crowd within the museum, was also broadcast to an overflow audience in the museum's garden, highlighting the community's overwhelming support and interest.

Tolokonnikova's latest artworks were on display as part of a pop-up exhibition called FEAR NOT, named after a quote from Navalny. The works, employing techniques Tolokonnikova learned during her two years in Russian prison, served as a critique of Putin and as a heartfelt remembrance of Navalny's dedication.

The exhibition, which ran from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3, was held in conjunction with Frieze LA and the Wende Museum's ongoing exhibition, Visions of Transcendence: Creating Space in East and West. FEAR NOT was presented in collaboration with Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe.

The Wende Museum extends its deepest gratitude to Nadya Tolokonnikova, her team, and all the attendees.

For more information about upcoming events and exhibitions at the Wende Museum, please visit wendemuseum.org.

The Wende Museum is an art museum, cultural center, and archive of the Cold War that preserves history and brings it to life through exhibitions, scholarship, education, and community engagement. Founded in 2002, the Wende Museum holds an unparalleled collection of art and artifacts from the Cold War era, which serves as a foundation for programs that illuminate political and cultural changes of the past, offer opportunities to make sense of a changing present, and inspire active participation in personal and social change for a better future.

The Wende Museum is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit wendemuseum.org or follow the Wende on social media @wendemuseum.

 

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