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Supporting Pussy Riot

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Let's Start a Pussy RiotLooking for (fundraising) Christmas presents?

All-female EDM and digital art collective female:pressure have released a new compilation album in aid of Pussy Riot.

Seventeen artists have lent their considerable talents to the record – among them Xyramat, Caro C and Olivia Louvel – as well as their support for imprisoned Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina.

The compilation hopes to “increase exposure for their cause” and, if they are released soon as is suggested, to celebrate their freedom.

Until that happy day, however, all money raised from the album will be donated directly to the Voice Project, who manage the International Support Fund for Pussy Riot.

The album costs a mere 5 euros – although you are able to donate more if you wish – and is available to download here.

And if you’d like to know a little more about female:pressure, Amy Bell points out in thegirlsare, then there is a feature on them in the brand new magazine, available – ahem – to purchase right this way.

Earlier this year, maybe you missed it, German-born performance artist Emely Neu curated a 256-page collaborative creative dialogue art book called Let’s Start a Pussy Riot. And the proceeds from sales go to Pussy Riot.

When three members of Pussy Riot were imprisoned last year, Neu staged a mini-festival to raise funds for the women, and started a blog for the public to submit artworks.

The first half of the book provides an overview of Pussy Riot, including their manifesto and court statements, while the second section features the work of nearly 70 artists and musicians such as Yoko Ono, Jenny Holzer, Judy Chicago, Kara Walker and the Knife.

One such work is ‘Sinead O’Connor‘ by Amber Edgar of Citizen A, from the series Feminist Playing Cards by Homoground.

“This is a very playful contribution to the feminist debate, and it’s also about redefining history,” Neu explained.

“The Feminist Playing Cards project is a collaborative effort by 14 artists and features 54 illustrations of musicians who inspire them.

“The images on early card decks featured only men, reflecting the dominant role they had in the royal courts.

“Even today, many cultures still do not include a queen or any female in their card decks.

“It was important for me to include Homoground [a Brooklyn-based music project run by Lynn Casper] because they offer a popular platform for queer and allied artists as well as for music lovers worldwide.”

Another is ‘Untitled’, by Ekaterina Samutsevich, one of the three Pussy Riot members jailed in August 2012 but who was later released on probation.

Samutsevich’s graphic asks ‘Why does the state in Russia care so much about every woman?’ and answers the question with: ‘she is a cheap and obedient worker, she looks good in hardcore porn and turns men on and she can give birth and raise children on her own’.

“It was important for us that in the second part of the book Ekaterina and Masha [Maria Alyokhina, who is still in prison] stand out as individual artists, not just as members of Pussy Riot.

“Ekaterina’s personal work has, for me,” Emely Neu explained in the Guardian, “the same effect as a Pussy Riot performance.

“It’s very provocative – as you read, you start to empathise as you draw connections to your own surroundings, recognising that it can also apply to where you live.”

Let’s Start a Pussy Riot was launched at Yoko Ono’s Meltdown festival in London on 15 June, since when it has been available to buy from roughtrade.

“I feel this is a very important moment for my generation,” Neu told the Guardian.

“The amount of young women I hear saying ‘feminism was something that happened in the past’ – Pussy Riot use the raw, infectious, DIY power of punk to shake things up and get people thinking about feminism again.”

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