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Pussy Riot: Feminist Band Lost in History and Translation

Yusupova, Marina

Authors



Contributors

Tasha Oren
Editor

Andrea Press
Editor

Abstract

The Pussy Riot story is clearly a story the West wanted to hear. Western journalists, politicians, and celebrities were unanimously inspired by the youthfulness and rebellion of courageous Russian feminists. Their life experience perfectly resonates with the core of these young women’s messages. For Russians, however, even for those who share the most liberal values, it is not so simple. Public polls and several months of heated debates have shown that virtually everyone in this deeply conservative country has struggled to make sense of the Pussy Riot performance. So what do Westerners not understand about Russia, and what are the problems of translating feminism(s) into different cultural contexts? How does feminist protest deprived of its roots function here, and why do women in Russia not understand that Pussy Riot’s story personally concerns all of them? This essay outlines the difference between Russian and Western readings of the Pussy Riot performance and, using the case of public response in Russia, contemplates the reasons for the failure of feminism in this part of the world.

Online Publication Date May 16, 2019
Publication Date 2019-05
Deposit Date Jan 2, 2023
Publisher Routledge
Book Title The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminism
Chapter Number 19
ISBN 9781138845114
DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315728346-20
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2997024
Publisher URL https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Contemporary-Feminism/Oren-Press/p/book/9780367670580