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Don't be quiet, start a riot: anarchy, affect, and activism in Pussy Riot's performance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology and Performance Studies.
2013 (English)In: International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR) conference, "Re-Routing Peformance/Re-caminant l'escena", Barcelona, Spain, July 22-26, 2013, 2013Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The relationship between art and politics emerges again and again. In connection with the Russian parliamentary elections in December 2011 a protest movement appeared calling for free elections and democratic rights. It was in this context the punk group Pussy Riot conducted their now world famous “prayer” to Virgin Mary to dislodge Vladimir Putin from power. The question is whether this was an artistic action with a political purpose or a political action with an artistic method?

    The present paper focuses on the links between the classical avant-garde and anarchism exemplified by the actions of the group Pussy Riot in Moscow. The term anarchy comes from the Greek arche and in its original meaning aims at neither to chaos nor order, but joins both elements. A constant movement between construction and deconstruction of established existing systems characterizes anarchism.

  The classical avant-garde wished to integrate art and life. Art would be understood as a flow with no specific goals and no definite answers to the question “why”? Provocation was seen as an instrument for producing shocking effects using unexpected breaks in the flow of words, images or tones, and forcing the viewer to make new associations. The artists of the avant-garde were socially, rather than politically engaged. Unlike the politically organized revolutionaries they were anti-utopians, politically as well as aesthetically. They did not create a school or style, and did not let that art was under any social or political constraints. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Feminism, performance. Pussy Riot, activism, affect
National Category
Performing Arts
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89847OAI: diva2:621159
International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR) conference, "Re-Routing Peformance/Re-caminant l'escena", Barcelona, Spain, July 22-26, 2013
Available from: 2013-05-13 Created: 2013-05-13 Last updated: 2013-11-13Bibliographically approved

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